©Jan Millward, 2018

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The dentist.

September 23, 2016



I've an appointment with the dentist
I have to have a filling.
I hate to have to listen 
to the high pitched whine of drilling.


I wait with trepidation
and read a magazine.
It's about the coronation,
full of pictures of the Queen.


I have a glance around me
there's a young girl on the phone,
she's been waiting ages and
 she's rung her Dad to moan.


I can smell the disinfectant
or it might be blue mouth wash,
and I glance at a big poster
showing the right way to brush.


I am getting a bit nervous
and I feel the need to cough,
though my teeth are fresh and minty
and I've flossed the small bits off.


A nurse walks in the waiting room,
she's calling out my name.
My tooth has now stopped hurting
and I wonder why I came.


The dentist has a mask on
and he asks me how I am,
just as my tongue discovers
a wayward bit of ham.


I sit upon the chair of doom
I'm at the point of no return.
I smile at him quite sweetly,
but he's looking rather stern.


And then he tilts me backwards,
 like a Thunderbird on go.
sliding swiftly downhill
until I have to shout out Whoa!


He says that he is going
to drill a hole into my tooth.
I should have taken care of them
when I was still a youth.


He says he'll dig the bad out,
put amalgum in the hole.
Then I'll rinse out with blue water 
and spit out in the bowl.


He fills a big syringe up
and injects my poor old gum,
it feels like my mouth is swelling
and my tongue is going numb.


I look up to the ceiling
and see the poster about brushing,
how to floss the bits out
there is no gain in rushing.


The nurse gives me some goggles
and a bib to catch the blood,
she puts some suction in my mouth
to catch the rising flood.


The dentist starts the drilling
he says he'll stop if I feel pain,
I can't grit my teeth and bear it 
so I fear it's all in vain.


I feel the water building
 and choking is a worry,
then my nose has started itching
I just wish that he would hurry.


I keep stretching my mouth open
as I look right up his nose
I try to avoid eye contact
and not bite the suction hose.


And then it is all over
and the words I want to hear:
“Don't come back for six months”
I give an inward cheer.


I promise to keep brushing
and attacking all that plaque,
especially if it means that 
he doesn't want me back.


I walk back to the car park
feeling quite sedated,
I suck a bar of chocolate
then I feel more elated.


And yes I'll have to go back
and he will tut and say,
we need to have some x rays
it won't be much to pay.


So I take out a small mortgage
to cover all the costs
and be grateful that I've
kept more teeth than I've lost!

©Jan Millward.


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