The Extraction by Caleb March

On velvet cloth, pale Child sank deep
In cushioned seat of oak that creaked.
Mother sat stiff, Child unsightly,
Grave in the waiting room, until finally:
“Next,” came the nurse; small Child did weep.

The dentist leaned, cruel tools to reap;
Looming, drew cold Child to sleep;
Hungry, dabbed spit from lips lightly
On velvet cloth.

Mother drove alone, a house to keep,
Supper on, cigarettes to sneak.
So how’s the kid, Father asked finally.
She showed him then their childless family:
Boxed and tied, Child’s tooth lay brightly
On velvet cloth.


Caleb March writes in the wee small hours between the margins of marriage, four daughters, and practicing law. Home is Gainesville, Florida.

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