‘It’s just a skin wound’ she told me.
‘It’s just a skin wound’ I told myself
and anyone else who would listen.

‘How did you get here’ she asks me.
‘I drove my van’. She looks surprised.
‘You shouldn’t drive yet’ she says.

‘Why? You said I could do what I did before’
She struggles for an answer.
Most patients don’t question her.

‘It’s just a skin wound’ I repeat.
‘Yes, but it’s a fairly large skin wound,
I think you’re doing too much’

‘It’s just a breast’ I tell my friends;
Not a part of me I still need
not an arm or a leg or inside my head.
I’ve fed my children and loved and lost.
I’m not trying to attract a new mate.

I’ve loved and left and loved and been left.
Nothing hurts like loving and being loved
where love is forbidden.

‘It’s just a skin wound’ my surgeon’s words in my head,
and I look at the hollow in my chest.
‘It’s just a skin wound’ I tell myself, and I see the depression
where once there was a breast.

Another hollowness; different depression.   Another lost breast
The mastectomy is a skin wound.
Separation for adoption is a deep unhealing penetrating violation of motherhood.

Through adoption law I lost my mother and never knew my father.
Through the Public Trustee I lost access to my family of choice
No law made it alright.

A breast is a part of my body I’ve known and used; a part I can do without.
It’s not the first body part I’ve lost, and I wonder:
‘Was I the first body part my mother lost?’
‘Did she have 14 years intact, until the scar of separation marked us both.

Unresolved grief surrounds me, drowns me, as I pine for parts unknown.

‘It’s just a skin wound’ you need to know.
It does not hurt my heart, or sear my soul.
Better to lose my breast later in life, than a mother’s breast at birth.

About sofie gregory

I'm an adoptee; co-founder of the group IdentityRites - peer support and advocacy for adoptees.
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