by Ute Carson
The Flapper Press Poetry Cafe, February 2023

Like a mole I tunneled
from mammography to biopsy, from lab to lab,
oncology to cardiology to lumpectomy,
waving away the more radical interventions.
The morning after my surgery
I scraped and scratched through the darkness
and scrabbled away from my night vision.

I woke from a fog of anesthesia
to a changed body image.
Was I once symmetrical?
I gaped at the wound, an insult to my body.
What about the scar under my arm
snaking down the left side of my breast?
My breast had shrunk,
and tilted sideways.

But worse had been avoided.
I still had two breasts.
When the sun dispatched its tiny rays
through the morning mist
I heard birds cheerfully cheeping
and realized that the world around me
was just as it was before I went under.

- ~ -