This was inspired by a dream I had last week. I woke to my alarm in the middle of the dream, and its disturbed feeling stayed with me until I had time to sit down and write about it. As I recorded the dream, I saw patterns that very nearly reversed my initial perceptions, so that I ended up feeling very positive about it. I guess maybe I’m one of those irritating glass-half-full people.
The Best Medicine
A technician arrives to put in
the IV. Cancer, the doctors say.
Five tubes of thick, red poison
wait in a tray. The rubber strap snaps
around my upper arm; cool fingertips press
the crook of my elbow, my wrist,
the back of my hand. I look away, cold
with fear and anger. The bee sting of entry
barely registers, but slashing pain seconds later draws
unwilling sound from my throat. The tech pulls
the needle, bandages purpling flesh, murmurs
apology, avoids my eyes. She puts
her arms around me and I see
she is crying.