Copyright © 1997 Laurie O'Brien
The body heals. One year later I can see in the bathroom mirror that the skin
is all of a color. The long red line of the scar has soothed itself into a pale
crease. The gathers where skin was
stitched, layer upon layer have subsided.
The chest is smooth, unfinished looking. There
is a pattern of depressions, hollows, where the lymph nodes had
Someone asks me about chest wall and muscle.
How do I tell? The scar jumps when the muscle is tightened.
What is most startling is still what is missing.
It isn't hand or eye, kidney or foot,
but there has
been a severing, an amputation. Where there was flesh, blood, milk is only air.
When my daughters were babies I always put them first each morning to the left b
reast. Now it's
gone. What can I say about what I will never have?