Mastectomy by Karen Steiger
I never thought I’d be the kind of person
who would have my own plastic surgeon.
I don’t even wear eyeliner.
Nevertheless, I have a plastic surgeon,
and he seems proud of the previous day’s work.
I’m sure he sees these freshly deflated tits
all the time,
but it’s still a shock to me.
My left breast looks like it was in
an old-timey farming accident.
“Ol’ Lefty has never been the same
since she got caught up in the thresher.”
Or maybe it had been run over by a truck,
and then the truck backed up
and ran over it again.
It’s now covered in off-putting shades
of sickly yellow and angry purple,
misshapen and concave in places.
Like the roadkill possum
that’s not quite dead yet,
hissing and spitting and cursing at you
as it crawls across the road.
It will get better, I guess.
You’ll see me soon
in some black Nine Inch Nails t-shirt,
covered in dog hair,
and probably a dollop of mustard
(you know me),
and you would never know
this happened to me.
Karen Steiger is a poet and breast cancer survivor living in Schaumburg, Illinois. She is the founder of her poetry blog, The Midlife Crisis Poet (www.themidlifecrisispoet.com), and her work has been published in The Wells Street Journal, Black Bough Poetry, Perhappened, Kaleidotrope, Mineral Lit Mag, Rejection Letters, Versification, and others.