Friday, 16 February 2018

Tooth Karma  

by Donna Hébert

She saw them enter the restaurant together
in slow motion, her arm tucked through his
where her own had fit so easily

Stuck in the La Brea tar pits of awkwardness,
she bit down hard on a piece of shell,
shattering tooth along with peace of mind

Wrenching her gaze from those elbows,
spitting tooth and shell into her napkin,
she feared she’d pay thrice -
for the meal, the dentist and
of course, the heartache

But fortune smiled
She escaped the sting of fate
The restaurant comped the meal,
covered the dentist fearing a clamshell lawsuit

Then, eventually desensitized
by random sightings
of the happy couple around town for a year,
she barely noticed
when they moved away

But it was much longer
before her tongue stopped
playing with the rebuilt tooth

And she had lost
her taste for clams

* * * * *

"Tooth Karma" © 2013 Donna Hébert, all rights reserved

Donna Hébert, a fiddler since 1972, writes, performs, records, and teaches fiddle at Amherst and Smith Colleges. Her latest CD is a poetry and music collaboration, "The Infinite Dark," with Jane Yolen, Lui Collins and Max Cohen.

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