– Poetry by Barbara Kessel –
Featured in issue 14 of Dreamers Magazine
You of the lovely name and the sinister implication,
We need to talk, even though you have no voice.
I ask you every hour if you are doing better.
Or perhaps worse?
I think I feel your answer.
We both know you were not meant to be: a complication.
The pillagers with their noisy knives, their silent radiation
Have left me cancer-free, but with a large hole inside my breast.
They call you, “Seroma.”
Invisible to others, you only come alive in ultra-sound.
You look like a moon crater with a shallow lake,
Yet being on the Moon’s dark side, never to see Light —
For as long as we are in this body.
Your walls have been scraped away,
Maybe holding by tough tissue,
Yet never healing.
The incision on my chest could be my badge of honor,
But you, my secret, sometimes wincing wound,
You are the scar I cradle and rock,
Hang tough for us, oh my Seroma
About the Author – Barbara Kessel
“Oh, Seroma” was written in response to a breast tumor removal/radiation that did not go as planned. Barbara B. Kessel was a happily engaged community college speech teacher in Chicago; then she retired south to the more nature-filled home of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Did you like this poem? Then you might also like:
The Identified Patient
What I want the surgeon to know
Sanctuary, and other poems
The Body as Poem
Metaplasia and other poems
This is What Death Does
Where Courage Lives
The Psychiatric Patient Profiled in My Application
Modern Medical Miracles
What the Mirror Says
Writing Myself Alive: An Episodic Poem
Breathing; Love These Lively Things
Oh Emma; Slow Dancing
In the Mirror, For My Mother
Zenstronomy: Zen of Instruction, Godma, Astrophysical Reality
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