Poems by Duane Anderson

Pic by Torsten Dettlaff



Holiday Blood Drive

Here I am, at a holiday blood drive
sitting at a table on the main floor
of an arena near the front entrance.
Underneath the arena floor is an ice rink
used for playing ice hockey games,
something that I had forgotten about when I left home
as my feet get cold sitting there at the table.
Only one layer of plywood separates
the ice rink from my feet.
Maybe if I had remembered there was an ice rink
I would have worn heavier socks
and my winter boots to keep my feet warmer.
It was like I was at the North Pole
though I didn’t see any polar bears or penguins.

A television crew is around to record a segment
for several of their news broadcasts to be
shown later today promoting the holiday blood drive,
interviewing some of the volunteers and donors
as to their reasons why they came to this event today.
They even manage to point the camera toward me as
I checked some people in at the blood drive,
so maybe I will be in the newscast,
but then again, I will probably be edited out
later on before it airs.

High above, a video system hanging from the ceiling
is currently displaying the movie
The Santa Clause on all four of its screens.
It is the first feature of several movies to be shown
during the twelve hour event.
The second movie shown is
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Those looking for any popcorn and sodas
for the movies are out of luck,
but there are plenty of donuts and other snacks
along with water and juices as substitutes to satisfy
any movie cravings they may have.

Since the movie screen is to my backside,
I occasionally turn around to watch
when no one is checking in.
Of course, I get very limited chances to watch,
but that is okay because I am part of the process
to help make this drive successful,
and it definitely looks like it will be
as the donors keep walking into the arena.


No Shows

I am left all alone in a conference room
waiting for the first two donors to show up,
and it is now thirty minutes past their appointment time.
If they decide to show up later
it would screw up the whole schedule
delaying everyone else’s appointment
if I would let them go ahead of any others upon their arrival.

If they would happen to show up,
I could try to squeeze them in as walk-ins
if there was an opening or reschedule them
for another open spot later in the day.
I wouldn’t want to disrupt everyone else’s appointment
because these two didn’t come in the time they originally chose.
Those thoughts kept going around and around

in my mind throughout the day,
but my reasoning was somewhat wasted
since they never did show up,
but at least I knew I had a plan in place,
and when I wasn’t thinking about the no-shows
the only thing heard when no one else was in the room
was the sound of the clock ticking

and occasionally someone walking in the hallway
talking to another co-worker.
At times I felt I was in prison,
receiving a few visitors throughout the day.
Now, I am waiting for the warden’s visit
advising me that my time has been served
and I may now leave.


Two Minute Warning

It was game day,
and the two-minute warning had just been given,
advising the donor that he was next in line
where he would spend the next
two-and-one-half hours on a bed as the platelets
were separated and retained in a bag,
returning the plasma and red blood cells.

It was game day,
time for visiting the restroom one last time
before commencing with the game,
knowing there would be no more timeouts
until the procedure was finished.
A pre-game preparation,
time to use wisely


Let Us Help You

Go ahead, donate a unit of blood.
It is much appreciated, much needed,
and when asked to set you
up for another appointment,
what will you tell them when they
advise you that your blood type
is the perfect fit for donating platelets,
wanting you to try it, but of course,
that would not work for you,
one, not being to hold his bladder
for the two and a half hours that it took,
and if offered a catheter with a bag,
or an unused Depends to wear under your pants,
both fluid catchers, ready to catch any leaks,
other than those from the vein in your arm,
would you change your mind,
or politely turn them down?
They are trying. You help them, they will help you.

To read more poems by the same author, click here

About the Author

Duane Anderson currently lives in La Vista, NE. He has had poems published in Fine Lines, Cholla Needles, Tipton Poetry Journal, and several other publications. He is the author of ‘On the Corner of Walk and Don’t Walk,’ ‘The Blood Drives: One Pint Down,’ and ‘Family Portraits.’