The Phlebotomist Shows You Her Tattoo

Some poems have meanings that are straightforward, obvious. Others carry within them a message that’s more elusive, yet somehow are still pleasing. This Poem of the Week falls into the later category. I’d be curious, my readers – what did this one mean to you? The Phlebotomist Shows You Her Tattoo After she sanitized, pricked (one demand), suctionedyour blood, the phlebotomist bares her arm voluntarily, brags a tattoo as bright as RBCs in the vacuum tube.She never faints. Never flinches. Never, you imagine, avoids eye contact when someone’s inevitable news,the worst-case scenario kind, pings on a screen or tumbles into Voice Messages without any specifics (Will you die?Will God care?), and results arrive as notifications, ask politely, pretty-please, at your earliest convenience willyou schedule an appointment with the doctor (unavailable until 2025), who will be happy to explain in detailthe missing pieces of any diagnosis. No this tattooed twenty-something, without blinking a pore,rolls up her left sleeve just as he asked you to do, as she herself has been asked to do a dozen timesat Funky Art, Kingdom of Ink, Black and Blue,Tattoo Nation. And this same phlebotomist – who never faints, never flinches as you stare away from your post-punctured arm –this woman the age of your daughter automatically flexes her muscleand the red sun on her decorated bicep pops up – just like that –as mercy, as hope.         Marjorie Maddox

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This entry was posted in America, Health and wellness, Hope, Humor, Medicine, Poetry, Thoughts & Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

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