Sunday, November 14, 2010

Losing It (otherwise known as "I'm.Not.Ready.")

The following poem is an entry for Poet's United's prompt of "family."  I had to go way back in the memory vault for this one, guys.  It straddles the line between poetry and prose. I couldn't decide which way to go.  I think it's a work in progress.  What do you think?

It has been going on for weeks.
 Forward, back.  Forward, back.
Wiggle left. Wiggle right.
My five year old tongue has become
a tentacle
probing the hollow space
and the mysterious "thread" my tooth swung by.
I picture myself walking around
 with dangling strings where
teeth once lived.

Eternities pass.
Forward, back. Forward, back.
Wiggle left. Wiggle right.
I'm. Not. Ready. 
I tell everyone
with conviction.
Can't they see they are asking me
to pull off a priceless appendage?
Tooth fairy be damned. 
Her promises of quarters lend no solace to
my anxious heart.

Forward, back. Forward, back.
Wiggle left.  Wiggle right.
A tiny crusader,
I would rather choke in the night
than surrender.
"No, they will not take my tooth," I vow to my Cabbage Patch dolls.
Tu-tu'd fairies could skip my pillow, thank you.
Keep your quarters, you devil creature.
I'm. Not. Ready.

With the stealth of a jungle cat
my father lures me into the bathroom one night.
"I just want some light to see it."
(Fine, but I'm Not Ready.)

Twenty minutes later my cheeks
are tearstained and flushed.
Warily, i grip the counter like a vice.
I inch my mouth open only
after he swears he won't pull.

"I just want to feel it," the charming executioner explains.
"Okay," I relent. "But don't pull.  Just feel."

Silence and stars fill my vision.  i am closing my eyes so tightly i see color splotches. 

"Kate, it's ready.  It won't hurt, I promise.  Count to three."

Tears cascade as i finally surrender
to the annihilation of my tooth.
A young Atlas, every second i hold my mouth open
I am holding the earth in the sky.
"Okay." I manage, and hiccup through the sobs.
"One..." I begin, then deciding I am only prolonging the inevitable,
I whisper, "Just do it."
"It's out," he replies.
"What?" I squeal as I open my eyes to my father holding up my bloody trophy.
"How'd you do that?" Amazed, I forget to cry.
He smiles in fatherly elusiveness,


fire in the hooooole said...

beautiful...great post,

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I SO LOVE THIS! Oh that is just how a little girl feels. You captured it wonderfully, the "I'm not ready", the fear, the resistance and the "magic" removal. Fantastic poem. Thank you!

Boom Boom Larew said...

I used to leave those teeth dangling for weeks. I never understood people who just pulled them out. I.Was.Never.Ready!

Susannah said...

That is wonderful, you captured that scene and those feelings so well. I loved it. :-)

Suz said...

ha ha that was fun to read
my brother knocked mine accident
he was only looking too
brought back memories gal
and that is a good thing ..

Anonymous said...

So much fun to read was easy to picture myself an apprehensive little girl again, finally feeling relief when it's all over! Well done...:)

Jingle said...

lovely family entry,

Jingle said...

Welcome attending poets rally week 33, link in a poem, visit 18 poets, done,
Poetry awards assigned upon completion.
Happy Friday!
Thanks in advance for the attention!