Tests on My Breasts

Take this basket into this stall
Waist upwards: off with it all
On with the gown
(No, the other way round)
This is what we’re going to do
OK with you?

Into the room, off with the gown
Lift your breast and lay it down
​On this plate, stand like this
Shoulder back, hand on hip
​This might squeeze a little bit

Finally fine with the lie of the breast
​Foot pedal pressed
Down comes the see-through plate
​Squash and spread to investigate
​Look away
From examining rays

A few more seconds and that one’s done
Repeat it for the other one
Lift, lay
There, stay
Feet, stand
Hip, hand
Done both breasts
​Need more tests

Ultrasound, inside inspecting
Memories from when I was expecting
But that was looking at a lump of life
​That was benign
Don’t know if it is this time
Squidgy gel on the hand-held scanner
Perfectly pleasant bedside manner

Moves it around, looks on a screen
​Finds the best view on the scanning machine
Overboob, underboob, armpits too
​Look at the lymph nodes, look for a clue
Looking concerned
What have we learned?

We need a biopsy – ​What, today?​
Yes, straightaway
Lie down, still naked from the waist up
​Unsupported 42J cup
Needle ready, local anaesthetic
​Calm and kind and sympathetic

A prick, a cut – this might hurt a bit
​Then insert the biopsy kit
Then you’ll feel a series of clicks
I’ll warn you each time
Thanks, that’s fine.
​Now. Click. Again
Some discomfort, not really pain

Now. Click. Again
​Pain that time
Distract my mind
​By reciting rhymes
Telling stories
​Hating Tories
Now. Click. Again
The Eleventh Commandment
​I’d rather have a staple gun inside this breast of mine
I’d rather have my tumour clipped than cross a picket line

Now. Click. Again.
Lost count
Indefinite amount
Cleaned and dried
Adhesive strips applied
Then dressing
​The wound then myself
No more guessing
Or supposing


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