Tooth Extraction

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An injustice miscarried

by young women
was to have their teeth extracted
before marriage.

Better now than later.
Don’t protract the trouble
they might cause.
Now they’re de-fanged,
dumb to memory,
de-clawed, humiliated,
frustrated by the eating of an apple.

My mother waited
till she hit thirty-five.
She had live pain in her head;
her body screamed its imprecations.
No imbrocation assuaged her hurt.
Pull them out!

She looked blank, almost mild,
as each long, strong-rooted tooth
hit the metal kidney-bowl
with a shiny clank.
The dental surgeon smiled
as he re-aligned her head bones
with his jaunty thumbs.

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