My Cart 


Melinda Cleans My Teeth
Charlotte Mandel


Intent blue eyes
of prairie skies—
white coat and denim jeans—
Her fingers click
with a silver pick
exploring before she cleans—
A musical straw
gobbles in my jaw
like a flute with dancing beans—
While toot’ by toot’
round each tingling root
a bladelet intervenes—
Now a powerbrush
circles in a rush,
toboggan-fast careens—
To the orange taste
of a sandy paste
rubbed in by tambourines—
The pirouette
of a pistol jet
splashes in serpentines—
Swirled in spit
the scouring grit
is sluiced and sucked from the scene—
And my teeth applaud
with a smile as broad
as diamond mezzanines.

This poem first appeared in Busenhalter (Fall, 2004)
Used here with the author’s permission.




Charlotte Mandel's latest book of poetry, just released from David Robert Books, is titled THROUGH A GARDEN GATE, poems inspired by the stunning garden settings created and photographed in color by Vincent Covello. Her awards include winner of the 2012 New Jersey Poets Prize and two fellowships in poetry from New Jersey State Council on the Arts. As a suburban wife and mother, she wrote no poetry until her true poetic self came to the fore in midlife. That self has now accomplished the publication of nine books of poetry, including two poem-novellas of feminist biblical revision; articles of literary scholarship, most notably essays on the role of cinema in the life and work of poet H.D. (Hilda Doolittle); publisher/editor of SATURDAY'S WOMEN, the Eileen W. Barnes Award Anthology; teaching—she recently retired after several years teaching poetry writing at Barnard College Center for Research on Women; and nearly a dozen fellowships and residencies. Learn more about Charlotte at



Post New Comment:
Love this, Charlotte! And congrats on the book!
Posted 03/14/2015 07:18 PM
I just added one in the Open Mike on the same subject! I loved 'the swirling in spit'. What a lovely way of putting it!
Posted 03/12/2015 02:01 AM
yup; had mine done yesterday and it is just like that
Posted 03/11/2015 08:49 AM
Just had my teeth cleaned. Love this, will print and take it to my dear hygienist.
Posted 03/11/2015 07:04 AM
Fun, with all the energetic dashes. Swirled in spit the scouring grit is sluiced and sucked from the scene—
Posted 03/11/2015 12:16 AM

Contents of this web site and all original text and images therein are copyright © by Your Daily Poem. All rights reserved.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Purchasing books through any poet's Amazon links helps to support Your Daily Poem.
The material on this site may not be copied, reproduced, downloaded, distributed, transmitted, stored, altered, adapted,
or otherwise used in any way without the express written permission of the owner.