An Anthology of Poetry and Medicine

The Needle

by Isla McKetta

The needle
does not feel like a blood draw
as it pierces skin, flesh
uterine muscle, then your bubble.
I hold my breath so you won't move,
squeeze Dad's hand
for the pain I will still pinpoint
years later.
As the tube stirs your liquid
trying to sip cells
while my womb contracts
and a curious little fist
grabs for the intruder—
your first plaything, you delightful father's son—
you flash your big, beautiful, healthy face
and the test no longer matters.
Nothing could be wrong
with a baby so playful
and already aware.
They can take the fluid
they think they need
fill their abundance of caution,
but you and me, kid
we're going to be okay.


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