‘Rewind Poetry:’ Poem – Free Verse – “It’s A Fact of Life” #amwriting #poetry #GoDogGoCafe

Uh, where does the time go. I meant to have this yesterday before I became absorbed in a project! Here’s a recent poem I wrote.

———

Joel Filipe via Unsplash


———

When I visit here, 

It’s a fact of life. 

Blood drawn with tiny needles.

Some days they sting, 

Stringing out two seconds. 

Other days, the needle doesn’t register. 

It was a fact of life,

I had to visit here each week,

For the first six months. 

Then, every other week, 

Now each month the rest of my life. 

It’s a fact of life, 

So I don’t pay much attention. 

Facing away when the needle grazes, 

The same ‘good’ vein. 

Blueish-purple in my left arm, 

Silver-violet threads of blood vessels. 

Some months these needles bruise, 

Leave my skin raw and red; 

But If I’ve someone skilled,

There’s a slight indentation. 

Each month —

Babies crying concertos. 

An ominous feeling in the air. 

They’ve no choice —

But to know sharp pain. 

A poke stinging eternities of fire, 

For a wink in time. 

Wailing and —

The waiting room patients’ sigh. 

Then silence follows, 

The miniature massacre. 

Everyone checking, rechecking watches, 

Pulling out phones. 

Waiting for that sickening needle, 

Shuffling in seats,

Legs crossed and uncrossed. 

Glossy magazine pages turned, 

With frequent frustration. 

Toddlers running,

Mothers trying to calm them, 

Hushing their lively squeaks. 

I’m used to having blood drawn, 

Turning my head, 

Focusing on some object, 

Or a distant thought. 

There’s persistent pain as the needle pulls, 

My blood into the tube. 

Six to nine tubes today, 

Blood annexed for annual work. 

These tests burn —

Worse than the tattoo artist’s etching. 

Sketching out the black lines, 

Worse than her needle, 

Grazing repeatedly, 

Skin with vibrant colours. 

Back and forth movements, 

Calming and hushing,

Knowing what to expect and where. 

Conversation, music soothing, 

Then, the artist is done. 

Her needles leaving, 

A work of art behind. 

But the blood test needles ache worse. 

Similar to the last flu shot,

Some years not felt at all.

Other years a poke that —

Throbs all day. 

Despite praying the pharmacist,

Will slide the needle in,

Not deliver a death blow. 

Droplets of bright blood plop, 

To the stark white floor. 

She laughs, this never happens. 

Her mouth turns downward, 

Because you grimace, 

Squish your eyes shut counting the seconds;

Until the hurt dulls. 

She wonders why you wince, 

Why you’re so sensitive.

Says the swelling will fade, 

You’ll live, 

It’s a fact of life. 

It’s a matter of proper training, 

Slipping any needle in gently. 

Not jabbing and mincing, 

A persons veins or muscles. 

Yet still, a fact of life. 

But I remember being six and crying,

Fighting my mother, 

She was angry. 

Because I saw the needle, 

And refused. 

Today, the blood test needles are thinner. 

Adults can ignore them, right? 

Grit their teeth while the bloods, 

Ripped away, into a tube. 

It’s a fact of life. 

That some things are sharper and dig holes deeper, 

Than blood tests, flu shots, or tattoos. 

There is greater pain flowing from our insides,

If only the hurt could be drawn out as blood. 

If happiness, no worries, and no obligations —

Was all that remained behind. 

If only —

The tattoo artists colours, 

Garunteed you with fantastic health. 

And flu shots didn’t speak of fragility; 

Only the best humors in our blood. 

Gossamer strings supporting dreams. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

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