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.

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

Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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