A sneeze is inherently comical;
Nature’s practical joke.
I, like my
Grandfather before me
always sneeze in threes.
Loud, full-bodied things.
Sometimes my feet leave the ground.
Once, while in service to a beloved nun,
I sneezed only twice, held up my index finger and said
Let’s see if I’ve got anything for the Holy Spirit!
Her laugh fills my memories still.
A dear atheist friend would have nothing to do
With superstition or tradition only for tradition sake.
I’d issue the bless you response following the call of her sneeze—
A historic prayer for skipped heartbeats and the near-death sneeze experience—
She would not abide with a customary thank you, and met such nonsense with silence.
We renegotiated a more fitting ceremony.
I reply, don’t die.
Everyone has a happy time of it.