Poems & Essays

11 Sep

The symptoms of cat scratch fever or paranoia

General/Column One Response

will include a red spot on your infant’s cheek.
Smaller than a penny,
smaller than a dime,
smaller than the smallest toenail,
but you will see it.
It will be shaped like a gun turned one way,
the V of a lazily drawn bird the other way.

The doctor will ask if he has had a fever.
No, he has not.
She will ask if his lymph nodes have seemed swollen and red.
No, they have not.
She will ask Then why do you think he has cat scratch fever?
You don’t know. You point at the gun-shaped spot, but by now it is smaller than the smallest toenail of a pigeon.
She will tell you he is fine.
She will tell you his spot will go away.
She will tell you to stop nursing him at night, because he is a big baby, and he does not
need to nurse at night. He could run into dental problems
if he keeps nursing at night.

Aha! You will say. There WAS something!


Renee Beauregard Lute is a graduate of the MFA program at Hamline University in St. Paul, and her work has been published in a number of literary journals and magazines, including Bellevue Literary Review, Mamalode, and Literary Mama.

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1 Comment

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  1. Jill Smith

    September 11, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Love this! Classic case of what we used to call NPS (new parent syndrome).


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