Small Victories

I settle into the red, cushioned berth

Ergonomically shaped and stuffed into the portable blood bank.

I stretch my arm out for a brisk swabbing,

as I think of how the needle will feel.

I always convince myself I enjoy the sting of the plunge

the cold metal sensation within my tissues

But I do not.

I enjoy the feelings of fear that resurface at the thought of the slim, glinting object.

The far-off memory of a childhood blood draw

So traumatic

I hid in the bathroom of the hospital to avoid it.

Eventually lured into the depths of the building by my mother,

who promised food from the cafeteria.

As soon as I entered the room

I knew something was wrong


Three doctors held me down

I bit (at least) one.

And after it was over I said,

“That wasn’t so bad.”

Words my mother would never let me forget throughout the years.

So today, I rejoice when the needle glistens and the familiar fear returns;

I have conquered it.

I look, unblinking, as it descends into my vein.

And as I feel my lifeblood pump and drain from me,

I feel peace

No more fear.




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