Haibun in the Modern English-Language Style by Ray Rasmussen
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It's been over two weeks since I noticed a small scab on my forehead that isn't healing. In his clinic room, Dr. Jackson takes a quick look, says "Sunspot, let's get it off."

While he's busy putting scalpel, needles and thread on a tray, I manage to stammer, "Is that another word for skin cancer?"

"No, no," he says pushing me down so that he can get at it. "Here, just a bit of freezing."

It's time that seems frozen as he cuts it off, drops it into a plastic vial and sews me up.

"Just a tiny piece of skin, that. We'll send it to the lab and I'll want to see you next week to take the stitches out."

"And, I guess to give me the report?"

"Don't worry, it's good you came right in. My best friend waited 6 months and it was too late. He died at 52."

On the drive home, the words flash through my mind ... tiny piece of skin ... cancer ... died at 52 ... waited too long ... don't worry ...

How long was it on my forehead before I noticed it?

I walk into the living room and say "Hi" to my daughter. She says "Hi dad" but doesn't look up from her reading.

Everything seems just as I left it an hour ago. Yet, everything seems different.

stretched out
in the sunspot
the black and white cat

Published in Bottle Rockets