Friday, October 11, 2013

The Man With No Face

She meets me with mask already on
Halloween-contrary, it covers her mouth and nose.

Ushered to the very end of the hall
Where screams are muffled by distance?

All the while she makes muted chirpy "mmm-humms"
Meant to soothe, or nervous habit?

Placed on the long slippery chair, a dental banana
Metallic arms of lights and trays enfold me

One by one, instruments are laid in neat rows
Instruments for probing, scraping, poking

She clips on the blue paper bib,
Tucking it neatly under my chin

More muted chirpy "mmm-hmms"

He arrives behind me as my head dips back and down
I see only white legs, arms, gloved hands

I close my eyes, succumbing to the mystery
The needle reaches from my palate to my brain

Once, twice, pain to eliminate pain
We wait.

Muted, chirpy "mmm-hmms"

We begin, drilling away the old.
Inescapable noise, unavoidable smell

Hands come and go, objects come and go
Lips pulled, jaw stretched, back arched, hands clenched

Gloved hands in, gloved hands out
Two hands, three hands, four hands

Muted chirpy "mmm-hmms"

Rinse, spit, drool
Pick, tap, push

Images, fittings, colors of teeth considered
Test, trim, place and hold

My smile is restored, my crown is complete
And still I have never seen his face.



  1. And this is why we hate going to the dentist, even for a routine cleaning. You captured it well.

    1. I needed something to occupy my mind other than my white knuckles.

  2. Splendid image of a past event!
    Luckily we have a dentist who greets each patient personally without face mask.


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