Scar massage

a tiny section of my body
was excised, sent off for biopsy

a day or two later
somebody jokingly asked
how I thought my mole was going

I found I could not bear to think of
that small piece of me
floating in clear fluid in a plastic bottle
in a pathologist’s office

irretrievable, irrevocably

I was left with a cavity
that has sealed itself over
with the help of two continuous sutures

now that the stitches are out and a week has gone by
I massage the scar for five minutes twice a day
using, as advised, two fingers
and as much pressure as I can tolerate

to prevent the join

I am astounded by the depth of its colour

other parts of me have been lost
other scars left to harden

these are not so visible

I have stopped ignoring them nonetheless
have stopped trying to disguise them
with complaisance, competence, facts-at-the-ready

I return to them, feel for
their shapes under the surface
attest their presence
with as much pressure as I can tolerate

I speak to them

tell them
that they are no longer alone

Tricia Dearborn


Tricia Dearborn’s poetry has been widely published in literary journals in Australia, overseas and online, and in anthologies such as Contemporary Australian Poetry, Australian Poetry since 1788 and The Best Australian Poems. Her third full-length collection, Autobiochemistry, completed with the support of an Australia Council grant, is forthcoming from UWA Publishing.

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