He pressed hard 

three fingers

on my breast.

He found a lump.

He searched for other signs,

but found none.   He looked up.

He seemed surprised

at my calmness, for any sign

he found was proof

the cancer had spread.  

However, as he went

he smiled for my benefit.

I smiled back.  I did not want 

to make him anxious. 

The doctor stopped. 

His arms dropped.

He cocked his head

a little to the door.

I looked down at the floor,

then out at the street: 

the rain-whipped branches

of the winter trees

swaying in the evening breeze.

A street lamp flickered green and orange…

Would you wait a minute please?

I must consult a colleague.

When the other doctor entered

she walked straight up to me

clutched my shoulder, 

put her fingers on my breast 

and pressed.

She paused a second. 

It seemed colder when she moved

away to join the other doctor

in the corridor.