Poetry

On reading Billy Collins in a dentist’s waiting room

reading a humble poet tell us
of his eggs-over-easy start to the day
has made me braver, truly

and I’m glad now
the dentist is running late
and I’ve been able to fortify
myself with poetry

remembering again
that thoughts written down
in an elegant vernacular
can make you feel better
about your day
pushing out any anxiety you have
about having a molar filling replaced
or whether your friends
actually care

to write down something
that’s almost honest
is at least as important as what the man
in the pale blue apron does
all day
poking with metal tools
into our cavities

so I’ll make this call:
for collections of humble poetry
in dentist’s waiting rooms everywhere,
pages and pages of expertly cut off
lines
journeying through someone else
into yourself, as necessary
as the dentist who helps
keep healthy teeth
in our heads

poetry too
can fill the holes.

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