105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: Teeth!

A poem about a root canal? Okay, you asked for it (and I didn’t have anything else for Poetry Friday).
Don’t talk to me about teeth.
I don’t want to hear about
cavities or bridges or
God forbid, root canals!

For years, my worst nightmares
have been about losing my teeth.
Not usually through some accident
that wasn’t my fault,
but through my own obsessive need
to wiggle and wiggle the teeth loose,
even though I know
(in the dream)
that’s it’s a terrible idea.

I’ve heard or thought or guessed
that these nightmares represent loss.
Maybe not death,
Probably not death,
But other significant loss —
of the perfect body
of the best friend
of the writer’s hopes.
Which makes it more devastating
that I am responsible.
I am eating the doughnuts.
I am ignoring the phone calls.
I am delaying the writing.

Don’t talk to me about teeth.
I don’t want to hear about
cavities or bridges or
God forbid, root canals!


Cavities are just emptiness
That could be filled with clear water
and long walks.
Bridges can be built between friends
who have lost touch.
And root canals.
Root canals can
Dig out the poison
of hesitation, procrastination
to let the healthy hopes
grow stronger.


jama said...

Wow, you had me going for awhile. Like the reversal at the end! BTW, I also have those teeth falling out dreams. Could we have the same dentist?

Kelly Fineman said...

Teeth falling out/wiggling loose dreams often accompany teeth grinding in your sleep -- just so you know!

adrienne said...

Ooo, that is good.

Rita said...

Lovely! It's like a song.

-Kaz said...

Wow, that was great!
But now my teeth are tingling.

Sarah Miller said...

Ha! I have a version of that tooth dream more often than I care to admit....

Jules said...

That is great! Speaks right to me. I dream all the flippin' time that my teeth are falling out -- awful nightmares, and I've often thought that it has NO deeper meaning: Losing my teeth would just be gross to me, and as a child, it freaked me out. And when my own girls' teeth start to come out? Shudder. They can go to their father for help. For serious.

But, great poem.

Kelly's comment is interesting, too, as I really suspect I'm grinding my teeth at night.

But I ramble . . .

Franki said...

And you are our winner! Sorry so delayed. Life has been crazy.
Book will be on its way!