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Lump by Bex Hainsworth


I found it whilst showering.

Soapy fingers stalled over

an unexpected hump.

Wrapped in a towel,

I sent a photo to my doctor friend

in New Zealand.

Kept quiet for all of two hours,

then asked you to put the big light on

and have a look.

You, who knows all my lines by heart,

frowned as your gently cupped, prodded,

but assured me you weren’t worried.

I booked an appointment, then we stuck

to ‘Scottish Play’ rules. Didn’t ask

about your auntie, the bruise.

After two nights of it growing between us,

villain, volcanic, there was the clinic,

examination: abscess, antibiotics, relief.

The lump dressed, defeated, wept,

but what lingered, in the sleeplessness,

was my horror at the thought of leaving you.

Bex Hainsworth is a poet and teacher based in Leicester, UK. She won the Collection HQ Prize as part of the East Riding Festival of Words and her work has appeared in Atrium, Okay Donkey, bath magg, and trampset. Her debut pamphlet of ecopoetry will be published by Black Cat Poetry Press in 2023. Find her on Twitter @PoetBex.

1 Comment

Anne Alexander
Anne Alexander
Apr 12, 2023

Intimate, deeply affecting.

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