A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

Herpes Zoster

by Lisa Barnett

Also known as shingles. An acute infectious disease
caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus.

It slithers up and down your nerves
till you don’t know what’s felt, what’s not.
How like a snake it curves and swerves;
it slithers up and down your nerves.
The venom of its late reserves
brings back the pox you’d since forgot.
It slithers up and down. Poor nerves—
how can they tell what’s felt, what’s not?

Lisa Barnett’s poetry credits include  The Hudson Review, Measure, and  The New Criterion.  She is a three-time Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award finalist.


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