Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

Thomas Rodes

is a semi-retired and fully burnt-out information management consultant who spends the cold months in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and summers and falls at his farm in rural Maine. In addition to Umbrella, recent works have appeared in The Panhandler, the American Organist and The Shit Creek Review.

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My Denture (With Apologies to R.L. Stevenson)

I have a little denture that goes in and out of me;
He’s pasted in with Poligrip for everyone to see.
He is very, very like me from the gum-line to the cusp;
And I jerk him out at bedtime since the dentist says I must.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to click—
Not at all like proper choppers, which can not perform that trick;
For he sometimes feels quite squishy like a spongy rubber ball,
And he’s sometimes stuck so tightly that he doesn’t squawk at all.

He hasn’t got a notion how incisors nibble corn,
And can only make a fool of me, subjecting me to scorn.
He only speaks when I speak—he’s a charlatan you see;
I’d think shame to lisp like granny as my denture lisps like me.

This morning, very early, before the sun arose,
I gasped and found a widened gap beneath my very nose.
Another homeless canine, like a lazy Bowery bum,
lay waiting on my pillow for the Tooth Fairy to come.