It rained all night. In the dark, from her window,
she saw somebody fall, curse, mumble,
look for something, dig through the mud
and give up when he figured out he was holding
horse dung. He left.
She threw the curtain back and went to sleep.
In the morning when the light broke with the roosters,
she opened the gate softly and in the muck on the road
she saw something glitter.
She bent and picked it up: somebody’s
full set of teeth.
She washed them at the tap in the yard
and tied them in a handkerchief.
For a week, she made it a habit
to walk. She picked a distaff with wool
and started spinning down the road
stopping to listen at gates in the evening
when people gathered.
She didn’t ask anyone.
She started crossing out
the men she knew wouldn’t go to the pub
for fear somebody would laugh,
until she figured him out.
She didn’t talk to him.
In the morning, she put his teeth in a box
and left them at his door:
no crickets, no fireflies, no larks,
no dawn choirs yet.
Listen to the poem here:
Lucia Cherciu is a Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY and her latest book of poetry is Edible Flowers (Main Street Rag, 2015). Her poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net.
Her web page is luciacherciu.webs.com.