What the Doctor Said, What I Answered
Yesterday, when asked to number my pain
from one to ten, I’d said seven, maybe,
or six, although nothing but ten would have
driven me twelve miles to expose myself.
How privacy is ceded to rescue,
and yet, even now, my C-Scan upon
the specialist’s screen, I remain stubborn
in dishonesty, my panic the white
of all colors for fear. This close to oncology,
I hear myself form “I understand,” beginning
to accept like the fool who waives his rights,
and though that doctor insists I might walk
away intact, I can’t shut myself up.
No matter what she qualifies, I talk
and talk, thinking I’ll get to it, this thing
I am working up to, how the slender grace
of benign can still be earned through
biopsy, its bright, fluttering peace
settling warily upon a branch, so close
just breathing sometimes startles it away.
Gary Fincke’s collections of poems have been published by Ohio State, Michigan State, Arkansas, BkMk, Lynx House, Jacar, and Serving House.