Paul Piatkowski: “Fever”


My toes are cubes,
and no number of blankets
can stop this fever
burning in my skin
while my body freezes
and my mind first wanders
then settles intensely
on a void I try to place.

Being sick, Virginia Woolf
complained, is a topic
writers spent too much time
avoiding. My father in law’s poems
about his cancer,
the year before he died,
were his best work. All agreed.
His “Turkey Buzzards”

what his life’s work will recall.
The sweetness of the moment
when he could see the end so near,
my toddling daughter
at his bedside
and his end juxtaposed
so clearly.


Paul Piatkowski has had work published in a number of journals including Florida English, Naugatuck River Review, Fast Forward, 2River View, and Sheepshead Review. He is currently working on his PhD in English Literature at UNCG Greensboro. He lives with his wife and daughter in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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