a piece of me

A Piece of Me

 
Tomorrow, a part of my body
will be surgically removed.
Not the head or arm or leg,
nothing obvious. I won’t be wearing
a prosthesis, no colostomy bag
to empty or catheter employed.
A radical tonsillectomy,
performed by a robot,
will remove the cancerous tonsil
as well as 2 centimeters of surrounding tissue.
2 centimeters? Hmm?
The width of a nickel,
length of a peanut, diameter
of my wedding ring.
 
Robotic instruments
will slice away
the lacy flesh then staunch
and cauterize veins and sinew. Cancer’s
expulsion will create
a more spacious place, but the room
will be less interesting
without my tonsil.
Tonsils are unneeded, they say.
For decades kids traded
tonsils for endless orgies of ice-cream.
If it weren’t for the cancer I wouldn’t have traded
mine for anything. For 66 years,
my tonsil has quietly guarded that nostril hole,
inspecting every breath,
protecting me from intruders,
and I’m not going to let it go
into—wherever—without a parade.