I used to dream
my teeth fell out.
I’d look down,
and there,
in a blue bucket,
they sat, piled, pitiful
remnants of my parents’
paychecks, gone to hell
and the orthodontist.
Now they really are falling out,
hanging on by a fleshy thread,
some strange metaphor for life,
and I feel bad –
mostly for my mom
who always wanted me
to have good teeth.
She gave up her own for me,
the holes in her mouth
and pockets evidence
of hard motherhood.
I’m sorry, mom.
I threw away my retainer.
I know you told me not to.
Yes, it finally caught up with me.
But at least the fakes
will be whiter,
cemented to gum,

Katherine Gotthardt

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years. For the past ten years, she has focused on content development and content marketing. Besides being published in dozens of journals, Katherine has authored six books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water, Bury Me Under a Lilac and Late April. She has been nominated twice for Poet Laureate of Prince William County, VA and is Editor in Chief of Prince William Living magazine.

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