She called my nipple a guy, as in
let’s get this guy over here,
but so she also named
the photographic plate–
let’s try a new guy, exchanging
panes of glass, as if maybe
some smear
was the problem, and it isn’t
one’s favorite
but she was kind,
and, I don’t mind, I said,
as she turned the screws,
really, as she
tightened them,
just do what you need
to do,
wanting her to flatten every guy in this room
of just us two,
if only she would not call me back here,
give me
an all clear,
and then she told me not to breath
and I didn’t, not for a while.


All clear, thank God.   I am linking this to the Poets United Prompt, a day in the life.

Alternate last lines:
“and then she told me not to breath
and I wasn’t already.”

Thoughts?  (A part of me prefers the first as I don’t like to be ungrammatical, but I kind of like the idea of “wasn’t already.” )

The drawing above is by my dear friend, Diana Barco, who illustrated my book of poetry called “Going on Somewhere,” available on Amazon, with my other books, Nice, 1 Mississippi, and Nose Dive.  

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12 Comments on “Follow-Up”

  1. b_young Says:

    Period after “breathe” and follow with: I already wasn’t.

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I know this little game very well… all in a day’s work for the radiologist, but as the specimen, one always feels man-handled and trepidatious.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Man-handled–a very good term in the context of this poem. I’ve got to make visiting rounds; a hard couple of days, but will this weekend! k.

      On Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 4:26 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  3. I FELT the screws turning, and the holding of the breath. In my opinion, the first closing line – “and I didnt, not for a while” works best. I am so glad you are all clear!!!!!!!

  4. Susan Says:

    I felt everything in this poem and groaned at needing another. Both endings are good, but the second made me stop and reread and then get it. Sometimes poetry needs that pause. Does this?

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    Yes, it helps when they’re kind, and when they are able to trivialize just a bit something so intimidating, however they can–very vivid and immediate writing, k–afa the lines, I like the concept you’re going for, but neither phrase really seems to be optimal–nonetheless, the idea and image still come across.So glad you didn’t need a follow up to the follow up.

  6. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    Very telling last line! A personal tale that many of us can also relate to.

  7. grapeling Says:

    and in a few months I get the male equivalent, which involves “cough” and a glove. oy. glad it’s clear ~

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