Rolling in with summer’s thunder, I had made a massive blunder:

For I ran each day through forests, land of most infectious tick

While I ran upon swift feet, yet thoroughly devoid of DEET,

Without notice, never to greet the very bug that made me sick

Never saw it, never trapped it, oh that bug that made me sick

Just a tick and nothing more.


Oh distinctly did I cry–t’was my birthmonth of July

When an awful MRI followed swiftly with a PICC

Sometime during lumbar puncture, wondered I around that juncture

How suddenly I felt sunk–sure, probably during that stick

For that rare and awful feeling imposed by that phantom tick

Phantom here forevermore.


Finally was freed from IV, was feverish but not quite hivy,

Dizzy, drugged, and not so lively, they told me I’d get a PICC.

Frightened now by doctors’ ingress, visibly I showed my distress

I shuddered at the surgical dress as they lied, “it’s just a prick.”

Burning, terror, and long duress — that was more than “just a prick.”

Then t’was o’er, and nothing more.


Finally the docs released me, went home to the cake and feasting

But though all of this appeased me, I still had that stupid PICC

Medications now each morning and the multitude of warnings,

Then plastic and tape adorning, to remind me that I’m sick

Just in case perchance that I could e’er forget that I am sick

Sleepiness and little more.


I found some ways to stay happy though the situation’s crappy

Until the time when they’d untap me, free me from this awful PICC

With bated breath that Sunday waited, but my nurse just sat there, prated

I lay there and finally blated, “Release me from this curse-d PICC!

Line to heart and arm related, free me from my mortal stick!”

She looked perplexed, but little more.


I took her, shook her, “Look, I implore, I beg you from my very core

This evil, vile venous bore should be with me–nevermore!”

Finally, o sweet nepenthe: From my arm, she hath rent thee

Like a serpent she hath rent thee, coiled up and crimson slick

Quite relieved and body sere, finally released from fear

Shocked and in the need of beer, grateful that it was so quick

Use your DEET and don’t be eaten by some creepy insect trick.

O’erlook thine Off — nevermore!


A native of Massachusetts, Jen enjoys writing surrealistic horror and spending time with her Arabian horse.