Loss and Found

Reflections on Skin Cancer and Solar Aging

Band-Aid Generation

I am one
in the army of older people
to wear a Band-Aid
on my face.

One skin cancer survivor
who joyfully, happily, obliviously
chose a chaise-sitting,
oil-basting, body-rotating,
reflector-using, get-a-tan-
at-any-cost younger life.

So now I’m a dues-paying
member of a community
I didn’t ask
to join.


The Reckoning

I’m sitting on a park bench
looking down at my hands,
the backs shockingly old
in the afternoon sun.

The skin crinkles outward like a spider
web or pieces of broken eggshells.
On examination, the left hand
appears more lined than the right.

I wonder if the left one
was jealous of all the time
the right one spent in charge;
gesturing, holding, writing, cooking

and in the older years,
decides to show and tell
its dissatisfaction
on being underutilized.

If I coat this sadly neglected hand
each evening with soothing cream
and encourage more participation,
will it ever forgive me?

Jane Seskin is a clinical social worker and writer.  Her last book was Witness To Resilience: Stories of Intimate Violence. Her poetry has appeared in journals, newspapers, and magazines.


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