After the cutting,
After the slide under the microscope,
The herringbone stitches to the open flesh come

In a dutiful, meticulous sewing
Of the cancer-vacated crater in my temple,
Hybrid birth-child now of Nature and surgeon's handiwork

Setting as right as possible all that had gone
So terribly wrong in a matter of mere decades,
Now hand-stitched and shiny like a fine, leather shoe.

Stephen Anderson was the First Place winner of the Kay Saunders Memorial New Poet Award in the
2005 Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Triad Contest.  His work has appeared most recently in the
Tipton Poetry Journal, Harvests of New Millennium, Free Verse, Backstreet Poets' Quarterly, Wisconsin
Poets Calendar, Southwest Review, Fox Cry Review, among other publications.  His chapbook,
The Silent Tango of Dreams was published by Pudding House Publications.  He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"The Laying of Hands" was inspired by a recent surgery I had to remove a basal cell carcinoma from my right temple.There is a mix of expressions in this short poem that reflects the very nature of becoming a patient and submitting oneself to a surgeon's skills (and hands), and consequently being somehow transformed (cured) in the process, somehow made new. In a sense, I guess, there has to be a kind of faith in the healing hands, a kind of leap we all must make in such situations.


Copyright 2009