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I am an ellipse of darkened skin excised from Mr John I'm a worry to the surgeon Though I've been there since John was born. I was dropped into a bag of formalin To keep me firm and fit then whisked away to pathology . . .. Where with other specimens I did sit. At 2.00 pm it was grossing time And the resident picked me up She sized me up with a dreamy eye And dropped me in a capsule cup. The next stop was a histokinette Which spun me round and round Through alchohol, xylene, and paraffin To end up as a waxy mound. I was then sliced by the microtome And floated in an aqueous bath The technician laid me on a slide And stained me through a colourful path. When I was tinted perfectly I was placed upon a tray . . .shifted to the pathologist's microscope to be reported on that day. She peered at me with worried eyes Not once but nine times nine Then smiled, picked up her pen and wrote . . . . . .. MR JOHN, SKIN BIOPSY, BENIGN.