Extract from Notes from Dialysis

by Hugo Williams

The Song of the Needles

Needles have the sudden beauty
of a first line.
They’re always new and surprising
as they burst from their paper covering.
They sing as they hit the air.

You catch sight of them
out of the corner of your eye,
glinting softly to themselves
as they contemplate their next move.

What they’re suggesting is inspired,
but a certain sadness
attends their description
of what is going on.
You don’t know whether to look away,
or accept what they’re saying.

If you’re lucky you’ll feel a pop
as one of them enters your fistula
and a cool feeling of recognition
spreads up through your arm.