I’ve turned in my membership card
for the Sharing Network’s registry
of potential organ and tissue donors
and I’ve called the Blood Bank
to tell them I can’t donate any more.

They’ve called me often for many years
because my extremely rare blood
(O negative, cytomegalovirus negative)
is always in such great demand
for premature babies and transplant patients.

It’s sad—I was one of those “donors for life,”
but now I can’t give my body parts away
because although the specialists assure me
that the malignant melanoma they caught is dead,
I know there are lots of melanoma cells
floating around in my bloodstream
looking for a more hospitable home
than the one they found in my eye.

I have no pity for these homeless ones
and I count my blessings daily:
I have wonderful medical care
and an attentive extended family;
I still have my own two eyes
and I can see with both of them,
and unlike those nasty cancer cells
I am not among the homeless.

©2009 Dorothy Miller Gutenkauf