Meditation in the Dentist’s Chair

October 9, 2009

I know this drill-

I know this drill-

novocaine’s sting, the smell of burnt

tooth, hands cradling my head

into position, the numb recognition

of fingers exploring my warm, wet

mucosa. Over the years a thousand

patients have said that seeing me

is just like going to the dentist.

But I believe I’m tougher to take.

With me there is no anesthesia

or high-tech glue. No one leaves

my office with a gold crown

even if they yearn to be a prince.

The pills I prescribe don’t fill cavities

in anyone’s soul, and my bond

with patients is created from nothing

more substantial than empathy.

And I remind the few who love me

too much, that our first handshake

is the only time our flesh will touch,

no matter how great their hurt,

no matter how long it takes to heal.