on giving blood

The needle in the fold of my elbow
siphons its pint slowly,
that thin line of blood similar
to what ties me to my children.
I feed this, too;
life in sanitized, filtered units,
impersonal, cooled for delivery.

I will not name this  sacrifice,
my slow bleed appeased
with orange juice and Lorna Doones, but
I have no say over who it sustains,
limited only by type.

Like justice, medicine
must be blind.

I can dream my last unit given
sustains someone who suffered
on Boylston Street
and not the boy-man
planning and planting destruction.

If it is my blood in his veins
carrying piped air to cells
that are in themselves innocent

let it help him live
long enough to answer
for the pain
he anticipated
the way small children wish
for birthday cake
and roller coasters.

***I wonder how the doctors treating this man feel about that, just days after they stitched together his victims?  Something like this, I imagine.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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29 Responses to on giving blood

  1. Very moving piece Susan…got me to my core!

  2. Bart Wolffe says:

    Like this observation very much. Partucularly the way you bring lineage and inncocence into the equation.

    • Bart, thank you. I was trying to figure out how one could tell cells how to behave. We can’t. They are innocent of our actions, ideals, or preferences. What moves us is deeper, and in some cases, much darker.

  3. ‘Tis just as well medicine is blind, methinks ~ great poem Susan 🙂 xx

    • Thanks, Polly. I guess it is a good thing. Perhaps they can see it as keeping him alive to answer for what he did, perhaps. Glad I am not a doctor in Boston today.

  4. i adore your passion. we are so similar.

  5. potterfan97 says:

    This is a fantastic poem! It gave me goosebumps 😉

  6. I was thinking along similar lines watching the news earlier… must be difficult to stay objective I’m guessing. Really nice way of putting the issues front and centre in this poem Susan.

  7. yeoldefoole says:

    wow! you handled this incredibly well. “Like justice, medicine must be blind” yes!

  8. jlee379 says:

    Really love how you explore these topics in such an artistic way!

  9. nelle says:

    Thank you for donating. I used to do so regularly until they shut me down for a mitral valve issue. It will be put to good use.

  10. brandyeli says:

    I love this moving poem, Susan. Your imagery is magic and heart ache and comfort at once. Thank you for such a thought provoking reflection.

  11. Trent Lewin says:

    Well, that’s hard to consider, but a good tough question. Tough questions are the best. I would give my blood to him, if only because someone was responsible for making him, and perhaps they still love him even though they are shocked by him, perhaps they are parents who have never done a wrong thing in their life and all they do is love their son, even though he is a crappy little confused monster. I don’t know. I would save him if I could, because he was once a child, and when he was a child, he was hopefully innocent. And then something happened, and something else happened, and then it kept happening, and then he hurt children, and that’s when he wasn’t a child anymore, that’s when he was the crappy confused dumbass. I don’t know. But I hear your question.

  12. Your nobility is extraordinary – and precious. I could never compare. 9/11 hit me personally and hard. Boston revived my sense of vengeance.

  13. This is profound my friend. Incidentally I read Lorna Doone a long long time ago and would love to read it again 🙂

  14. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    Reblogged this on The Sand County and commented:
    This is Susan’s evocative take on the Boylston Street bombing. I wanted to share -her love for our world comes through so clearly.

  15. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    I felt compelled to share this, Susan. You ask great questions here and your passionate/compassionate heart really shines through. Thank you for writing this.

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