In my office every time someone even looks sneezy,
A voice will pipe up with “Bless you!” like some demented
Nun heaving some protective
Over the sneeze enabled.
I mean, I know why.
The benediction was the hope that your heart
Which supposedly stopped during a sneeze
Came back on in a proper and fitting way.
It’s like “step on a crack, beak your mother’s back”
Which to me as a kid whose only ally was mom
I was deathly afraid of doing, just to be on the safe side.
Like if someone sneezes and you don’t say “Bless you”
And they fall over dead as yesterday, well, man,
You just did a misfeasance on the death level.
It’s just a good thing that mom, well, not mom
But her ashes, there in that box in the closet
Leaves me free on the crack-stepping no-no.