Recently I have had three friends who have all contracted
breast cancer and they are all having individual programmes
About twenty years ago, I wrote this, in the persona of a
woman who had undergone surgery and who just wanted to get on
with her life, without having to encounter and put up with
everyone else’s embarrassment and self-consciousness .
After my mastectomy, I was duly asked,
One lump or two?…and then a pregnant pause ensued.
Swollen with deep embarrassment; glibness unmasked,
the hostess halted her outpouring; the tea stewed.
Actually, I have none. – Discomfiture again.
(My voice as brittle as her porcelain cup and plate.)
Then one misguided ‘friend’ tried to conceal my pain –
She’s on a diet and has lost a lot of weight.
Yes, I’ve just been picking up a new bikini.
I’ve thought of Monte Carlo for my autumn week.
Or bust! said a girl whose breasts were like zucchini.
(My silicon implants provoke a good deal of pique).
Well, Papua New Guinea sounds like fun, I quipped.
My wit was rising like some vast protuberance.
Let’s say I kept my cards close to my chest.
Tight-lipped, my hostess said,
We usually go to France.