O Negative

The email says
“Urgent: Your Negative is a Positive!”

and has been sent out en masse
with the impersonal
“Dear Donor”
at the top of the page.

I’m reminded that my blood
is in great need today,
and 30 is the number of orders
that couldn’t be filled
over the weekend.

Compatibility
is the gift of my blood
because it can go to almost anyone
safely and without rejection
if there’s no time, say,
in the case of trauma,
to test for a patient’s type.

At my earliest convenience
it’s requested that I be heroic
and raise my sleeve
and offer my rare juice
to the injured and the dying—
and I will.

But as with all proper superhero’s,
there’s a kryptonite story.
An ironic Achilles heel.

When this rich red liquid
pumps through the hearts of women
who carry a baby in their womb,
there is trouble.

If the blood of baby and mother
mix together, there will be a war
and the child will suffer
and lose.

When my three children
were waiting to be born
the doctors had to save them
from my blood—

which is fiercely territorial
yet willing to explore.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
3-19-15

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