Li·ba·tion: an act of pouring a liquid as a sacrifice (Merriam-Webster)

Adam Possner

It was our ritual

every Monday at 2.

She would start by asking

How have you been feeling?

Pretty good, I'd say. You?

while sitting in the chair.

Same old same old, she'd smile

while rolling up my sleeve.

Next, the rhythmic cleansing

with rubbing alcohol

followed by the tying

of the blue tourniquet

then her donning of gloves

that matched her purple scrubs

and the incantation

Little poke—and the poke.

Each week it was the same

until my last treatment

when from the used needle

on the way to the bin

a single drop of blood

onto the spotless tile

a heartfelt libation

for those not so lucky.


Correspondence: Adam Possner, George Washington University, General Internal Medicine, Medical Faculty Associates, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 2-105 South, Washington, DC 20037; e-mail: apossner{at}


  • The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. Therefore, and solely to indicate this fact, this article is hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 USC section 1734.