Giving Blood

Giving Blood

by John Dorroh


I’m not passing a kidney stone, and that is good.

All the bloodwork was normal

except for the fact that a hummingbird

could fuel up for a trip

down to the Gulf by sticking its proboscis

into the vial of sugar that they took from my arm

and sucking it down his teeny-weenie gullet.


The clouds cannot come to consensus on a game

plan. There is one that looks like a mouse, dark gray

with one whisker and a mutilated paw, and another

that looks like a sheep. There’s always a sheep. And

a whale. And occasionally on outline of one of the

48 contiguous states. I see a bloated Tennessee today

over on the left.


I have to hold it together for a short while longer

until I can tell the kids that Daddy has to go away for a while.

Aaron will not understand. Bethany will and she will hate

me Forever. They are broken book ends who will too soon

stop looking at clouds, making wishes about things

that won’t come true.


There is a new lady in the complex who leaves me notes

and pieces of carrot cake. I have avoided her three times.

She knows where I live and there could be trouble. I

can smell it.


The cloud was unlike any I’ve seen: a snake,

long and round like the bottom portion of an unfolded

papyrus scroll. Its head was in a sugar bowl; its long tongue

hung over the edge. The end of it looked like a tiny heart which

had been sliced into unequal halves.


Paige at the doctor’s office called to tell me that

my blood sample got mixed up and could I please come in

for a re-draw. I assured her I could if me and my insurance

would not bear the costs.

I watched new clouds form over the water as I scheduled a time

for a blood draw. “And I’m not going to have to wait around, right?

Like in and out, no waiting, right?” “Sure,” said Paige.

“We’ll even give you a balloon when you leave.”

The verdict is still out as to whether John Dorroh actually taught high school science all those years, but he managed to show up every morning with at least two lesson plans. His poetry has been published in Dime Show Review, Suisun Valley Review, Poetry Breakfast, Walk-Write Up, Down in the Dirt/Scars, and others. He also writes flash fiction and cheesy short stories.

Image by Bart, found on Flickr.

#poetry #johndorroh #januaryfebruary2018 #illness #health #givingblood

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