RSS Feeds

Here you will find the writings of the poet Theodore Waterfield

Valor

Yesterday the dentist
worked in the border country
of my teeth.
The last upper molar,
working for years without recognition.
Crunching and grinding,
bowing and scraping
to those in front.
To the proud garrison
of white, chess like pieces,
standing at attention.
The king and queen upper front,
and the firm pawns ringing the bottom.
Set for war or a feast,
for holiday frolic and smiles,
the sweet taste of tongue,
cognac, beef,
the good life.
Appearing with my words,
taking attention,
flossed first,
and brushed with the care
of spoiled children.

The molar however,
hidden to the rear,
wounded in battle,
a piece broken from toil,
was ground and hacked,
drilled and plummeted,
while the dentist hummed,
inserting his hand down my throat.
Fingers as large as sausages
everywhere in my mouth,
misshapen forever,
lips thin as rubber bands.
He asked in this endeavor,
if I was OK, hypocrite that he was,
while the poor molar
cowered and faced him alone,
brave little soldier,
preparing for the end.

But it was going to be a crown,
a new face,
on this miserable bone of a tooth.
A cap of porcelain
outliving the pyramids.
I nodded to the dentist,
do your worst,
do your damnedest,

be quick as a Judas,
as I betray the molar
to its fate.
Later,
it will forgive me.
Later,
my mouth will restore its shape.
Later,
I’ll crunch and grind
but give my respects to the tooth,
that stopped the barbarian
at the gates,
by flossing it first,
and giving it more time
with the brush.

Leave a Reply