How to Amaze your Dentist

by Elaine Weisburg

Learn to designate
your teeth by number,
just as dentists do.

If you mention to the doc, say,
“Number five’s a little tender.”
You’ll be met with awe and shock
especially if he’s a he
and you’re a she.

The roll call starts at upper right
(wisdoms matter, pulled or not).
A mouthful equals thirty-two.

The tricky part is this:
uppers count from right to left,
lowers, left to right.

You’ll find it’s worth a little work
to show your dentist
that you’re bright.

Elaine Greene Weisburg spent about twenty years each at House & Garden (Conde Nast) and House Beautiful (Hearst) as design reporter and features editor, eventually editing a memoir column and two memoir anthologies.