Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: Poem – “It’s a Fact of Life” #amwriting #poetry #flashfiction 


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW September 5, 2017. 

Excuse the length. I saw the photograph and it fit my poem well. Since I’m still two weeks behind I don’t know that it matters 🙂 

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Credit: Artycaptures.wordpress.com

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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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The Doctors Office


I am sitting here in the newly renovated waiting room of my doctors office and cringing. For some reason waiting rooms make me very uncomfortable and I try to maintain my distance between me and the other patients carefully. It’s not that I have anything against them, it’s just that this whole place makes me tense up. The doctors office carries the fear of sickness and unusual behavior of certain people. Often, it is dirty carrying the dust off the street not to mention the stench of unwashed people. Now, there are some good and some bad things about the newly renovated waiting room. For instance, the waiting rooms cold dingy white floors have been replaced by pleasant modern wood floors; yet the walls painted a modern tan are strikingly bare. The chairs are new and comfortable, they no longer sink when you sit in them and are arranged in a new more functional way. Everything looks modern and warm, yet somehow to me it feels like a waiting room still – cold and smelling too clean now.

But it is the people in this waiting room that disturb me most – clean or dirty. Some of them are very sick, unwell inside their heads; they wail and moan, rock back and forth, talk in loud deformed voices, socially they cannot handle themselves. Some pathways in their brains just do not run the way a healthy person’s brain does, or at least not at the moment. But I am ashamed to feel this way, these very ill people cannot help that they are how they are; they require compassion. They just want to be treated normal yet that is a really hard thing for people to do for them. I was a little like them once.

Some of the other people I would consider normal I guess. They are relatives of the patients or people who are able to handle themselves in public – who care for their appearance, are quiet and polite, who wear fashionable clothes, put on makeup, bathe often, just have that well cared for look. I consider myself one of these people now. But thinking about all this, my uncomfortableness in this room, it makes me think what a hard life it is for some people – to have a mental disability. One that sets you so apart from other people by your behavior, actions, appearance, and sometimes intelligence. I only know what it is like for me and my small disability. But for some people who have to live penny to penny on AICH, who cannot communicate properly or effectively, who are often alone in their struggles. It must be a very hard life. Another thing to consider a lot mental illness are not cut and dried, and often not curable. Each bipolar person experiences the illness in his or her own unique way with unique symptoms, some similar to others, but still unique. And Lithium does not suddenly cure you, that’s not how it works. So I am sorry I hate the waiting room at my doctors office, but that will not change. I have compassion but I cannot help how I feel. I am relieved when my doctor takes me to the calm of her office, even more when I can leave this awful place. At least they tried to make it nicer, renovating it, but to me, it did not help.