A poem by Adina.
Seated in a plastic chair,
right arm extended,
ready to release blood.
The young woman who inserts the needle
is clearly wrought up.
yet, we are worlds apart.
I ask her, ‘What would make you smile today’?
She bursts into tears.
I gently put my left hand on her shoulder
ask her what is going on?
She tells me her car broke down
she was late for work and
worried about the cost of repairs.
while my blood is captured in 10 vials.
After the tourniquet is removed
she accepts a hug
and returns mine with surprising strength.
Jessica, who, each day,
drives all the way from Vallejo,
driving to work to draw blood
to support herself and her 11-year-old son.
My blood soon processed then discarded,
but for her blood is the life line of her days.
Poem and artwork by Adina – Reprinted with permission