Tap, tap, tap.
Two fingers tap the back of my hands
run their fingers down the blue spindly lines
which barely count as veins.
Usually the phlebotomist struggles but
finding x on a beach of dodgy veins
The needle goes in.
Punctures my skin
leaving a tiny hole
another mark of countless tests
examinations and cannulas for operations
I watch the mark get covered by the plaster
feel bereft my badge of honour is hidden.
I push outside the hospital
Blood test room B and nurse Sandra
all left behind for another year
I look at the plaster on my hand
want to show my scar to the world
add it to the countless list of stretch marks
open wounds, stomas and stitches
I tear off the plaster
the purple-brown bruise appears yellow in the light
there’s another mark to count.
Click to hear this poem out loud.
Rebecca Cavanagh is a wheelchair user and has recently graduated from university with a degree in Creative Writing. When she isn’t writing for her own website or teaching sports to students at her old secondary school, she can be found drawing or rolling around her house listening to music.