The Mastectomy Poems: 1. The Bridge

Alicia Suskin Ostriker
From The Crack in Everything (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996)
Last Modified: September 29, 2002

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You never think it will happen to you,
What happens every day to other women.
Then as you sit paging a magazine,
Its beauties lying idly in your lap,
Waiting to be routinely waved good-bye
Until next year, the mammogram technician
Says, Sorry, we need to do this again,

And you have already become a statistic,
Citizen of a country where the air,
Water, your estrogen, have just saluted
Their target cells, planted their Judas kiss
Inside the Jerusalem of the breast.
Here on the film what looks like specks of dust
Is calcium deposits.
Go put your clothes on in a shabby booth
Whose curtain reaches halfway to the floor.
Try saying fear.  Now feel
Your tongue as it cleaves to the roof of your mouth...


News
Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Benefit Questioned

Jul 24, 2014 - For women with stage I or II breast cancer without a BRCA mutation, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is associated with an absolute 20-year survival benefit of less than 1 percent, according to a study published online July 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.



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