The Mammogram

Take everything off down to your waist please
Put on this gown with open side to the front
When you are ready we can get started
How’s the weather? Is it still snowing?
Only a minute to get the films ready
Let’s do the right first, lay it up here,
Relax your shoulder, a step forward
Head back, some pressure, one sec
Hold your breath, relax while I
Check the view, Ok, now left side
Same thing, lean in, little more now
She doesn’t remember me, last year
Needed more views, dense breast tissue
Doesn’t mean anything, this happens a lot
She has said, and done this thousands of times
Does her voice change with a view of bad news
Does she see it, often before the radiologist
The news we all fear while we both stare
No movement, small talk distracting us
I wait, in a one-sided hug while intimate
Photos of me appear across her screen
You can wait out there, over to the left
The radiologist reads them right away
I think of all the others before me
All the women she has seen, heard
News of a journey to wait in the next room
While the doctor comes down to talk to her
Was there someone she wanted to call first
Another woman, older, appears to be reading
From a Kindle, I politely pretend to watch the tv,
My x-ray tech is back telling me they are clear and I
Can change back into my clothes, then I am free to go

3 thoughts on “The Mammogram

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