Tag Archives: Mammogram Poems

Mammogram: A Poem

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 A poem by Jo McDougall

“They’re benign,” the radiologist says,

pointing to specks on the x ray

that look like dust motes

stopped cold in their dance.

His words take my spine like flame.

I suddenly love

the radiologist, the nurse, my paper gown,

the vapid print on the dressing room wall.

I pull on my radiant clothes.

I step out into the Hanging Gardens, the Taj Mahal,

the Niagara Falls of the parking lot.

“Mammogram” is from In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems, University of Arkansas Press.  The poem is posted on Friend for the Ride by permission of the poet. Read more about the poet Jo McDougall and her work on her website.

 I first was introduced to “Mammogram” on Twitter by Mary Esselman, who read my cancer post and knew I’d be moved by the poem. “Mamogram” is included in the anthology How Did This Happen: Poems for the Not So Young Anymore, complied by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Velez.

 And check out this recent article: “Inside the Debate over Breast Cancer Screenings.”
Photo:  I was struck by this painting of Mary Magdalene at the Pitti Palace in Florence. The artist is Titian, and he painted this in 1533. I’d love to know what the model was thinking as she posted for the painting.