The Phone Call
My dermatologist said “cancer cells”
over the phone moments before three classes
of high school juniors came to discuss
To Kill a Mockingbird. She said to call
her after. My mind raced around the Daytona
International Speedway 500 times. It zipped
to the moon, to a hospital, to a cemetery.
“What did you think when Atticus said. . .?”
As I drove home, she described the procedure.
I squirmed. Surgery. A chunk of skin.
To get the rest. I squeezed the side of my right knee,
Band-aid from original scrape itchy and annoying.
That night at dinner, I told my parents
about the call. “What did she say?” I ran
to the next room and threw a blanket on my head.
They followed. My father tenderly asked “Do you
have a melanoma?” Yes. They both wrapped their arms
around blanket-covered me. And held on.
Jodi Andrews graduated with her MA in English from South Dakota State University in December 2016. She lives in Brookings, SD with her husband, and she now teaches English class at SDSU. She has had poetry published in Pasque Petals, Oakwood Literary Magazine, and Dark Matter Journal.