Poetry / November 2012 (Issue 19)

Sonnet 143. Phantom Memories

by Andrew Barker

I wonder, did this really happen? Dad
Has tied brown, furry string around the door,
Attached the other end inside his head,
To hold a tooth. He kneels upon the floor

And slams the door. His neck jerks. Then a groan
Of disappointment. Molar still in place.
My mother enters, "David. Not again.
For Christsake pay the dentist what he asks."

But dad remains undaunted. Doorknob tight
Within his fist, he stares my mother down,
To slam the door once more with all his might
And wrench the handle from the frame. He frowns,

Then reaching in his mouth, triumphant, rips
A blood stained, blacked tooth. Flesh still on it.
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