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Mourning a loss

July 17, 2013

the tooth cried out,

it’s time it died, the dentist declared

hollow it out, fill it up, and the nerves that communicated the pain are gone

the tooth was dead, but it stayed firm,

in a symbiotic relationship with the jaw

giving it shape while the jaw moved to help it to chew

when it was cleaned, no toothbrush knew, or even dentist that what they cleaned was alive no more

just a monument to its own demise


then one day,  the one in whose mouth the tooth had slaved for more than half a decade, felt something chip, something sharp against the tongue.

even in death, the tooth had …. teeth

and once more it cried out, albeit through the tongue it poked

i’m breaking! 

the tongue consoled it, licked it, tried to feel for the problem, but alas

when the dentist saw the tooth, it had already broken, the chip lost for ever in the cavernous digestive system of the host


What a loss! Even more than the loss of the tooth when it had died, and been root canaled, is the loss of the tooth when it is now half of its former form.

I mourn for not giving it softer food to chew, for calling on it even after it had shown its weakness. I mourn for not seeking alternative opinion about whether or not it should be capped after the root canal. 

How much we mourn, the things of flesh, even after they die. 

How long we mourn what shows the world our inner smile.

Rest well, dear friend, wherever you are. Thank you for your faithful service. Your neighbors will be better tended I hope, than I could tend to you.

~ And so, letting these words go, I smile~

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