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The Pap

Updated on March 24, 2015
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.

Christian Ide Hintze nicht-alphabetische Buchstabenzeichnung
Christian Ide Hintze nicht-alphabetische Buchstabenzeichnung | Source


Fan whirring

sleepy eyes

wait.


Blue plastic gown

folded neatly into a "take one" pile,

so I do.


The speculum gleams

like so many surgical tools,

metal shined up

by the curves of thousands.

I want to touch the handle to feel them

hear their stories through the metal.

But I pull my hand away and turn to the table instead.


The coolness of metal stirrups

cradling socks.

How is it I forget each year

how cold they are.


He leans over and swabs

body screams

even as mind

limps toward calm.

The speculum never warms.

But the results are in--

cancer free

for another year




copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2012



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    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

      Sorry but I had to laugh at this. I know the procedure(not that I have ever had one) and many women who just don't like them, however, they are very much needed. To be sure that one is cancer free is peace of mind that is very much needed also. It's interesting you how you wrote about it. And, you shouldn't forget about them. That's not good. Good to hear you're cancer free for another year though. :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I know--so needed--but I always feel violated a bit--I think it becomes a love hate kind of thing!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      YEAH AWESOME cancer free for another year,....

      voted way up

      Debbie

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Great poem, enjoyed it very much

      John

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you John!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Debbie!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Good news that your cancer free. Your beautiful poem read very easily. Voted up, Joyce.

    • time2rite profile image

      time2rite 5 years ago from Navarre, Fl, USA

      Good one, Audrey! Aaaaah, even after giving birth twice and over 2 decades of paps; I'm STILL not comfortable! Thanks for giving the experience a (humorous) voice ;-)

    • AmyTaylor profile image

      AmyTaylor 5 years ago

      LOVE IT! Had to laugh out lound I think most women would and I go EVERY 6 MONTHS because there is suspicion. But I'll think of this every time

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      I admire the way you can write poems on each and every aspect of life. THis is too good. Voted up.Looking forward to reading many, many, many more of your poems.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      LOL...i hear ya, gf! Congrats on the negative! Quite the mind...voting/tweeting

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      oh boy lady things...:( it's needed to keep our wonderful females healthy I too chuckled like a little school boy after and during reading the pap :) forgive me

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you all! Writer20, I think we are all happy when we hear the good news--Time2write--I have 2 daughters and yes, even then--I still feel violated a bit--Hi AmyTaylor! Thank you for stopping by! And, I hope you carry good thoughts with you the next time you go--Thank you Vellur---I appreciate your support so very much! ImKarn--you crack me up! Thank you! Frank--as always, you are a rock! Thank you for your support!!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Woooo the dreaded Pap..Hated but needed.,Happy results..Yea..

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Yay indeed--hated going though! Thank you always exploring!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Men have their own hell...the digital rectal prostate exam.

      Yikes!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      So I have heard! Gives the term "digital" a whole new meaning!

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      Audrey, only you could put such an unpleasant situation into a poetic perspective. Now what about poor Will? I can't picture that being poetic..

      Have a great week! Ann

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Anne! And yes--you have to wonder about how to make a poem out of a digital rectal!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Unfortunately this is an unnecessary evil, then we move up to the breast screening which is less embarrassing but more painful. But most of us will know someone or of someone who has beaten cancer because it was caught early.

      Great news that you are clear though Audrey.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      interesting way of presenting what a woman has to endure...you've presented it uniquely...

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

      I actaully got a chill! I had my elgs stirrups once when I had a kidney stone. I knew I was in trouble... Awesome poem!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and yeah it would be much better if it wasn't such an unpleasant procedure.

    • profile image

      Vincent Moore 5 years ago

      I felt the cold steel against you, I smelt the cream applied. I saw the doctor as he/she stalked over your waiting torso. Yes indeed, that yearly visit is one that many ladies do not envy, yet necessary to find out the truth and pray to not have the BIG C. Well executed in verse, voted up and awesome.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A great hub by you Audrey;you really are a talented writer and this is so apparent in this hub.

      Take care and enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you so much for reading---funny isn't it what strikes you in passing--

      @Rosemary--I think most women hate having this done and yet, it is so needed---

      @raciniwa--thank you my friend--I think I owe you a visit!

      @A.A. Zavala--Thank you my friend for your support--I greatly appreciate it

      @Gyspy Rose Lee--wouldn't it though???

      @Vincent--I am needing a Vincent fix I think--be over in a bit--Thank you so much--

      @Eddy--you are always to gracious! Thank you!

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago

      These contraptions had to made by a man!? You have handled this invasive procedure with your usual grace.

      You make the difficult to experience simple. As a man we really don't get it mostly.

      I remember my wife having a mammogram. It is just archaic!

      Voted up interesting useful and awesome. Well done Audrey.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you molometer! Thank you so your comments--as always--so much appreciated!

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      shimmering Dawn 5 years ago

      Audrey, you do justice to this one...how I hate this procedure... we just have to grin and bear with it I guess... health is more important! Have a blessed day. Peace.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      You too! Thank you shimmering Dawn!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh how I hate these tests. But I did like your poem :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Just Ask Susan! I hate them too!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      gosh...i hate these but, gotta go and get it done...lol

      thanks Audrey and beautiful description...lol

      voted up indeed!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruchira!

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 5 years ago from Fort Myers

      I have hardly ever gone for those tests but I was subjected to quite a few when I was expecting in the last 2 years. However, I do not really laugh now when I think about it because my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer and is right now undergoing radiation and chemo treatment. It is so sad when it turns out we are all vulnerable and probably need to pay attention. You can read about my sister and a hub I posted about her on my page. Thanks thought for the thought and the feeling Audrey.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      I am sorry that your sister is ill--my thoughts and prayers go out to you and to her. Thank you so much for the read and comments!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      As I read this a tingle ran along my spine.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Is that a good thing or a bad thing Vinaya?

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      I hate these tests, but as you say, necessary. I find they are often a good time to check for ovarian cysts too.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

      Haha I dread getting my annual pap smear as well.

    • sheilanewton profile image

      sheilanewton 5 years ago from North Shields, UK

      Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. And the image is awesome. Adds a certain something to the Hub. Voted up.

    • BigSerious profile image

      Christen Roberts Comer 5 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

      Thank goodness they recently changed the recommendation to every 3 years for under 40 (or is it 50?)

      I'll take less. I really despise them. "You may feel some pressure now...." ugh. :D

      (I agree - great image)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Sheila!!! How was Gambia???

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Thank you Big Serious! I hate them too!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      hahaha!! that was a fun read..i knew some who underwent the procedure.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you again unknown spy!! Hope all is well in your world!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Woohoo for those 3-5 minutes only happening once a year! :)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
      Author

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Yup! Thank you Sunshine!!

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