"Benign" Excerpt (Source: Geo Davis)

“Benign” Excerpt (Source: Geo Davis)

Dermatology visit. Yes, a poem about body dots!

This up-close-and-personal (too personal?!) account is approximately midway through a poem about my first dermatologist appointment.

He touches a mole
on my neck then dips
darting eyes to my chest,
to hairy, pigmented spots
and rough, pinkish patches.
Seborrheic keratosis.
Solar lentigo. Normal.
No cause for concern.

These middle years invite all sorts of exciting new adventures, and they’re not all blue water sailing and telemark skiing. Sorry. It’s reality, folks.

My father’s ongoing—and now decades long—struggle with skin cancer and my maternal grandfather’s ultimately unsuccessful battle with skin cancer offer warning aplenty. Stay vigilant. And cover up. But too many years of wanton sun exposure lurk in the background. My bride reminds me regularly to lather up with sunscreen, and I’m getting better. Really.

Another dermatologist appointment is scheduled, and I’m hoping that the findings, about five years after the experience chronicled in this poem, will prove equally benign.

“Benign” was included in Midlife Crisis Postponed. Listen to a recording of the full poem below.