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
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.