Fall 2009 / Issues / Poetry 2009 / Volume 40

Box of Disquiet — Suzanne Scarfone

truth be told

part of me has lived

in this box of disquiet

for years and years

let’s see

one still summer’s day

two of my teeth came out

baby teeth

plop plop

ripe pears

falling from my mouth

I gasped and flushed

and poked my finger in the

wet

gum

and knew I wanted

to plant them

in the backyard garden

behind the wild raspberries

under the clumps

of bee balm

and scary wees

I had on a pale yellow organza

dress with buttons up the back

and sprigs of apple blossoms

pink and green

sprinkled on my chest

and a pine velvet ribbon

tied at my waist

and my feet were

round and bare

I pushed

and pushed on the

heavy porch door

until it opened

my arms and legs

falling in the air

rushing through prickly grass

and cat’s pee and

other bits of

smelly life

I flopped on the ground

digging

with my knuckles

a dirt home

for my teeth

and then shoved them

in a walnut

cracked open and

painted gold

and pressed it into the dirt

and quickly covered it up

soon I was called in to a

lunch of milk

and beef and

beans

the house was quiet

and strange

I washed my hands and

my feet

and sat at the table

lighter and sadder

and

thought

outside that window

in a tiny

treasure house

there’s a

a part of me

stuck

in the ground

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