It's been about a month since I noticed a small scab on my forehead that doesn't seem to be healing.
In the med centre clinic room, Dr. Jackson takes a quick look, says, ”Sunspot, let's get it off."
While he's busy putting syringe, scalpel, needles and thread on a tray, I manage to stammer, “Sunspot? Is that another word for skin cancer?"
"No, no," he says, while picking up the syringe. "Here, just a bit of freezing."
A few minutes later, my forehead numb, he picks up a scalpel, cuts off a small slice, drops it into a plastic vial and quickly sews me up.
"Just a tiny piece of skin, that. We'll send it to the lab and I'll want to see you next week to take the stitches out."
"And, the report . . . when will I hear?”
“When you come in. Don’t worry, it's good you came right away. One patient waited 6 months and it was too late.”
On the drive home, the words flash through my mind . . . tiny piece of skin . . . cancer . . . waited too long ... too late . . . .
How long was it really on my forehead before I noticed it?
Home, I walk into the living room, say, "Hi" to my daughter.
"Hi dad" she says, without looking up from her homework.
Everything seems just as I left it a few hours ago. Yet everything seems different.
stretched out in
her favourite sunspot
the black and white cat
Note: The haibun is a revision of an original that appeared in Bottle Rockets, 2009.