NaPoWriMo prompt (basically): write a poem that reacts (1) to a photograph and (2) to a poem in a language not your own. (Yup. Both! At the same time. Extra points for patting your head and rubbing your tummy.) Ignore any accompanying English translation… and (3) write a poem with the two in mind.
One for the money, two …
- The Photo
- The poem in a language I don’t know, “Daaton Ki Safayi” in Hindi
I gather from its title that this short children’s poem is about teeth – and I could swear there are bananas in there somewhere?!? Much fun to listen to, anyway. Might memorize to have 1) a playful lullaby in my pocket and 2) a really good dinner party trick up my sleeve.
- My poem
My Dentist, My Hero
If I could, I would cheer,
Who has come to save the day?
Who can take my pain away?
Yay! Yay! Yay!
but there’s a mini-vacuum in my mouth
suckling on my tongue.
To compensate, I put a glint in my eyes
to transmit my delight at the sight of him.
Teeth to toe in bright white,
braced on his immaculate floor,
he smiles all the while,
leans in, with his pure breath, milky sweet like a baby’s.
This won’t hurt a bit. Just relax.
You may feel like a little nap in a minute.
Just let yourself go and open wide.
His vision fills my world.
I try not to stare.
The only place to look away, demurely,
from my hero’s eyes and pearly whites
is right, at the white wall
with all its white whitey night whiteness.
Nighty night whiteness
for sleeping on his white cotton sheets.
White nights on smooth cool white cotton sheets
in his bright white immaculate room
on smooth cool white cotton sheets
pearly clean sweet
I open wide.
Written by Elizabeth Boquet, April 2018