washcloths and candy

my father used to tell me
wet a washcloth
put it over your eyes
motionless, I laid on my parents’ couch
television failing to distract
my skin on creepy leather
hands commanded not to rub
I'd survive those moments

I drove my grandson to the clinic
5 long years
shots for his immunotherapy
and still, he eats antihistamine like candy
autumn, his season to play outdoors

in between games
he laughs at my washcloth
when we pause from our consoles


In 2012, James Blando, a professor of Old Dominion University, published a study on the impact of climate change on allergic diseases. They concluded that climate change may 'increase the public health impact of allergic diseases by causing more pollen to be produced for longer periods of time and also increase the allergenic potential of these bioaerosols.' This poem explores those extended periods with pollen and the intergenerational experience of allergic diseases.