I think I have the Covid,
And a nasty Monkey Flu,
With a little touch of leprosy,
And mumps and measles too.
This horrible contagious mix,
Disease-y viral stew,
Is keeping me from work today,
That's why I'm calling you.

It's rare,
But all the symptoms fit,
I found it on internet,
Where everything is true.
It says that I'll miss work for months,
It says that I'll turn pink,
My fingers can't do typing,
I may struggle just to blink,
My tongue will likely swell up
And be wrinkled like a walnut,
And the only thing that I can eat
is donuts.

So please don't come and check on me,
I wouldn't want you ill.
I can suffer with the TV here
And all this time to kill.
I know how much you want to help.
I know you're going nuts.
Stay away,
But maybe
Send some donuts.

-B.C. Byron
I can’t (cough) make it to work today (cough), but maybe you could send some donuts to my way?

When I was smaller, I always got to look forward to a few things when I stayed home sick from school. First, my Mom would let me have all the lemon-lime soda and jello I wanted. Not that I could keep it down for very long, but it was exciting to be able to have sweet stuff all day, even if it was the only thing I could get myself to eat. The second thing I could look forward to was watching as much TV as I wanted. In those days, we only had 5 channels and none of them showed cartoons until after school time anyway. I slurped my jello and soda and watched 2 hour documentaries about the middle ages or the politics of South America with a barf bowl at my side. If I was feeling well enough by the afternoon, I could hobble over the Nintendo to blow on a game cartridge (we had to do that to make them work) and play video games for a while. It was great to get a day off. By the time I recovered, I had a renewed appreciation for school and actually looked forward to going back.

As an adult, I have much more entertaining things to do when I’m home sick. I have streaming movie services, a pile of books, and a cell phone with infinite downloadable games, but I usually spend the time off napping and worrying about the huge pile-up of work I get to go back to the next day. Thankfully, adults get to take vacation days when they choose (sometimes) when we can relax for real, without a barf bowl. Say, that reminds me – last time I visited my parents I actually saw the old plastic blue barf bowl. It really brought back memories. I should probably call my parents and warn them not to use that for salad or something.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon,, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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