On the Lower Left Quadrant
by Susan Mahan
My dentist was building a bridge on the lower left quadrant.
The two-hour appointment allowed me
to alternately cringe and relax
as he drilled the surface areas,
prepared the molding materials,
and checked his progress on the video computer screen.
Iíd gotten little sleep
since my husbandís recent death
and welcomed the chance to close my eyes
against the harshness of the drill,
the glare of stainless steel
and sterile white.
The dentist took a break;
it could have been two minutes or ten,
and I drifted off to sleep,
dreaming that he had gone
to haul more stones for the pyramids in Egypt.
Everything makes sense in a dream, you know.
I awoke to the warmth of my husbandís hand
cupping my chin and the side of my jaw:
I was so sure heíd come to kiss me awake.
But, the dentistís glove had returned to the work site,
poised to continue construction,
catching my runaway tears.
Copyright © 2012 by Susan Mahan.