Please cite all poem references: “Excerpt from ‘Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain’ by Barbara Vance.” Thank you!


Don’t breathe next to me!
You might get me sick.
Your nose is so red
That it looks like a brick.

Your eyes are all puffy;
You’re sneezing a lot.
I’m leaving the room;
I don’t want what you’ve got.

Don’t cough when I’m here –
You might pass it on.
For goodness sakes,
Cover your mouth when you yawn!

And don’t touch my food
Lest your cooties adhere,
Thus making me sick
For the rest of the year.

The last thing I need
Is a cold or a flu,
And so I am thinking
I’ll bid you adieu.

I’m much better off
Wherever you’re not –
Don’t breathe next to me;
I don’t want what you’ve got!

~ Barbara Vance

Excerpt from the poetry collection “Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain”

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