The Importance of Feeling Special

I gave blood yesterday. My phlebotomist went out of his way to help me relax, which was not easy, under the circumstances. He had a shaved head, a twenty-two-inch, tattooed neck. Confided it was his first week on the job, and that he hoped it’d go better with me. His job was on the line. I fist pumped like a champ, nearly pulverizing that little ball, so my purply blood would fill the bag fast. Success. He gave me a big red tee shirt: Be extraordinary no matter what your type. Mine is A plus-positive, not a surprise considering how hard I worked in school. What to do about my azaleas, though? They couldn’t be more extraordinary, but with all the rain lately, nobody cares. Maybe I should get my umbrella and go sit with them a bit. Wear my tee shirt. Help them relax.

Maryanne Hannan has published prose poems from this series in minnesota review, Magma (UK), Gargoyle, 111O (EU), and Rabbit (AU). She likes to think it possible that people the world over can laugh together. A former Latin teacher, she lives in upstate New York.