I worry for Karen.
She’s my dental hygienist:
just so, that’s clear.
We have an appointment, in the a.m.,
first thing, tomorrow,
and she’s set
to clean my teeth,
My chief concern is not, so much,
that she might discover,
a bit of plaque, per se,
or some spinach, say,
or anything as mundane as that,
left over from yesterday;
or heaven forbid, a cavity.
No, that would be perfectly ordinary.
No, it’s the other things,
which I only suspect;
that give me a care,
there really are,
pitfalls, potential prangs, or
monsters of the deep, down there:
under the mandibular arch, say,
or, lazing on a lingual surface,
with their needle-like adornments,
spindly, insatiable urchins,
What if, perhaps,
the famously territorial lion fish
came roaring in,
from lateral incisor number twenty-three,
where a pride of ravenous fish-cubs,
may lie in wait, hungrily?
Never forgetting, of course, that famously,
venomous coral reef snakes,
cavort with the cuspids, proprietarily.
Or, near the incisors, on subsistence,
wouldn’t you know it,
the dreaded stoner fish,
a molar misadventurist,
to be shure, man,
with it’s gateway drugs,
and multifarious uses of ‘dood’,
and disarmingly similar syntax,
its anaerobic antics, cretinous capers,
and other tomfoolery,
what kind of long-term effects,
or moral uncertainty, might my
favorite protector of dentition,
in such company,
can anyone tell me?
Should I say, to:
“Beware the curmudgeonous,
moray eel, with its enviable
ten-thousand dollar smile,
and confounding bad rattitude.
Be mindful, dear, of rapacious
sticky-fingered, Blue-Ringed octopi,
a maxillary arch-enemy, when in there.”?
Not needlessly, do I worry.
Or, mayhaps, what may
become of my dental hygienist
if she should, too far,
into the shallows
of the labial surface, stray –
well known to be, to my mind,
a favorite lair of
lurking, insensate, wizened
I do worry for my dental hygienist,
the intrepid, Karen, poor dear—
as they offer so little real protection,
those little, blue, nitrile gloves they wear.
~ Tim Burchfield
8/30/16 (revised 1/22/19)