Milk Teeth


Marion Peters Denard holds a MA in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College and was a finalist in the 2011 Pat Schneider Poetry Contest. Her poetry is forthcoming in Peregrine and has been featured in City Scapes: Poems by PDX Writers and Arches: The Alumni Magazine of the University of Puget Sound. She She lives and works in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon.


One by one they loosen
with a wet smack
bone dislodging
from the hard gum flesh.

She doesn’t cry
as she did when they came
erupting slowly
burning her gums like lava,

soothed only
by gnawing on my nipple
‘til I bled
and both of us
blistered and sore
curled into each other like commas
resting in that brief pause.

She has outgrown them, her milk teeth.
I celebrate in secret
throw pink glitter
on her nightstand, leave a dollar
under the pillow.

I take the small white stone
roll it between my fingers,
wash it under gentle water
lest it slip away,

This bone – hard-won,
and gone.

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