The bug

We are woken by the screams.

We run in two’s. Bare feet pounding

Over floor boards.

Pictures flashing

In our minds,

Of all the worsts.

We kick aside the remnants of last night

Crumpled towels and toy cars

Littered at our feet

Hands scrambling

like snakes, for the lights.


The smell hits us first

And we feel our breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Reappearing together.

But it’s got him first.

He’s standing up

Damp browed and wide eyed

Surrounded by his sickly creation.

In awe, at what his little body

Has produced.


And then come the words.

The shouts and the orders

And the questions

And the cries

And the struggle

of moving and handling and undressing

and washing away

and the cries.

And the cries

And the cries.


And together

We place him to bed

clean clothed and powdered

armed with tubs and tea towels

we never knew we had,

awaiting the next strike.

His little snores breaking through the silence.

In the night.