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by Terry Everett

        Uncle Cecil cannot travel, cannot see,
        but, oh, he can talk and hear
        and eat, and so we travel
        to see him.
              It's a day trip,
        but we leave early, to avoid
        the heat. So we get there early,
        have lunch
              and then go to check in
        at the motel. Mom rifles through
        her purse.
              "I've lost my teeth,"
        she says, "must have left 'em
        at the restaurant."
              The young woman
        behind the desk suppresses
        a giggle
              and Larry says, "I'll
        go back and search."
              He leaves,
        and we proceed with the check-in.
        Mom taps
              me on the shoulder
        and I turn
              to see her
        silly grin,
              her mouth wide
        and full
              of teeth too big now.
        I say to the clerk,
              "I think we
        have a problem."
              She says,
        "You're right; we can finish this
              She calls the restaurant
        and says,
              "Is there a man there
              for his mother's teeth."
        .... "No, teeth!" she says.
        .... "no, not keys, TEETH!"
        she says.
              Larry returns.
        We check in.
        we're eating ice cream with Carl
        and Annie and Mariah and Emily
        and Ben and Uncle Cecil
              and I say,
        full of pride
              and eager to bring
        our visit to its point:
              "I was
        lucky to grow up with a mother
        who can recite the Psalms."

        Uncle Cecil says,
        your favorite Psalm, Ruth?"

        "'Psalm 121,'" she says.
        it for me, please, he says.

        She does.
              And then he says,
        "Thank you, Sweetie; thanks
        for coming,"
              his smile
        sweeter than the ice cream.
        he turns to me, smiles,
        "Copasetic," and smiles as the nurse
        rolls him back
              to his room

About Terry Everett

Everett's poetry has appeared in TAPESTRY (DSU Division of Languages and Literature art-literary magazine) and numerous magazines and journals. He is Assistant Professor of English Emeritus from DSU where he taught courses in composition and literature.

Click to read another of Terry Everett's beautiful poems,
"In April Somewhere in the South."
And here is another: "Uncle Bob's Empire."


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