February 10th – Billowy blobs and booby traps
It started with just a something,
there, that had grown under the skin
and got under her skin, hard and
round and other. Feel it, she said,
there, and he placed his hand
differently, scared fingers replacing
confident touch. It’s probably nothing,
she said, it’s usually nothing;
but the usual nothing grew
into a something of the mind, before
it was ever anything. The appointment
was made, then the wait for the appointment,
and the wait grew legs, became
a thing, that crawled into dark corners
and waited, growing, growing.
The first man thought it was nothing,
smiled benignly, reassuringly,
but another country away
the something stirred, restless.
More appointments were made.
She was squeezed into the cold
steel trap, that narrowed, and
imaged up a white blob, that billowed
into something more than its own shadow.
It grew into a word, and the word
was curved around its own initial.
She told him that word one October,
miles and light-years away,
and the something in his mind
drew a curtain across the future,
flapping in the rain. She went under
the knife: they took nodes, ran tests,
screened cells and then booked her in
for the big one. The wait was growling
at the door. They used optimistic words
like early and survival and promise.
They went away, for what weren’t
going to be the last days, but the
last best days, and then he waited
some more, as the wait howled
at the moon, and she submitted
to the knife. He saw her next
in a sterile ward, bandaged and tubed
dripping in morphine, quite literally
off her tits. The nurses tittered
as she tried to show him the surgeon’s
work. She’s doing very well, the nurses
told him, She’s tough, that one.
She needed to be. The scars she wore
weren’t just on the outside, even when
they spoke of success, of a remarkable job.
Much needed reconstructing, but it was
reconstructed, and the daily pills
changed their meaning, from fighting
the past to signing the future. She is now
ten years away from them, and the
something is almost nothing.
Every new year, is a new year.
Inspired by a prompt from here