In the gaudy glow of afterbirth
a field mouse burrows its hantavirus hole,
unknowingly pulling Hank the Hired Man
into death’s murmuring abyss.
His chest undulates convulsions
while Misty Winston, the Rancher’s Daughter
touches his common cheek
unafraid of Daddy’s inky wrath.
Her hero lies dying
spinning his way into
He stills and her beating heart breaks.
Hantavirus is an often-fatal respiratory disease carried by field mice. It occurs with low incidence in Montana. Its onset is not as sudden as the piece makes it seem. It starts with flulike symptoms and progresses from there. This piece was from the wordle words at a whirling whirl of Sundays.