Pulling the Tooth

D.W. Moody

Photo Credit: Ben Grantham/Flickr (CC-by)

for days
my jaw my bones my face ached
occupying my waking thoughts
alone in bed I’d stare at the emotionless white ceiling
struggling for a few moments of rest

one morning upon waking
I could feel it slowly letting go of me
it sagged and jiggled in my mouth
with mom working
everyone else
outside playing
not waiting for me to tackle the day’s adventures
even by bus too far the clinic
yes alone
my bare feet padded quietly through the house
till I stood in the cool shadows of the kitchen
hand trembling
hot sauce spreading through my mouth
blood and condiment swirling together
strings of nerves dangling in the crevices of my mouth
a crimson river flowing into the sink
shaking trembling holding my prize of bone

pencilD.W. Moody grew up between California and the Midwest, lived on the streets, hitchhiked around the country, and held a variety of jobs in Kansas and Southern California until settling into life as a librarian. His poems have appeared in Shemom, The Avalon Literary Review and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. As a new father, life is busy juggling the demands of work and being a committed parent: he writes when he can. Email: d.w.moodysmailbox[at]gmail.com

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