After The End, bloggity blog, poetry

Teeth/Mother

Shuffling steps
Leaving toenails etchings
In the dirt
With each movement

I stare at the hide satchels
Fastened to belt and hip
The jingle jangle
Bone to bone clacking

I shiver
My babe cries
Sleep will not come for her
My Estrella

Dark hair falling to knees
Seasoned generously with glittering gray

“The mother” they call her
Wrinkled leather lips
Curl in around naked gums
Hunched, bent
Like wind blown branches
Skin of bark and stone

Smile lines
Crow’s feet
A road map to a life well lived
Engraved on her face

Children of the Hollow
Bring her their teeth
Bloody gristle
Caked and drying
In exchange for gifts
She sees fit

Washing them with water and salt
Carves the markings
Buries for three days
Under a full moon sky

I watch as she replaces the cloth
Dry and hot
For damp and cool
My World’s forehead
Burning fire fever high

The mother places
Bowl and water
On my World’s belly

Trembling hands
Joints bulbous and pained
Searching blindly
The satchels at her hips
For the one which feels like speaking

Finding just right one
The mother pours the shiny whites
Out into her palm

Teeth
Molars
Incisors
Canines

I shiver
My babe cries

They drip from her fingers
Into the bowl
Swish and flourish
Words mumbling incantation
Yellowing eyes
Peering into the rippling water

Candle flames flicker
Golden shadows on earthen walls
Sweet leaves burn and smolder

A crooked finger beckons
Points inside the bowl
Points to all the teeth
Intricate carvings
Sigils and symbols

Their arrangement
Means nothing
To my empty aching heart

I look to my World
Sallow skin
Eyes fluttering
Fever dreams plaguing

I turn to the teeth mother
Toothless grin slashed across her face

“She will live”

I cry
My babe finally falls to sleep

Shit is going down over on Dried Ink Ribbon’s post this week! You must go check it out!

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4 thoughts on “Teeth/Mother”

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