Poverty Line

It started with my back tooth,
much cheaper to extract wisdom.
Now tongue swirls in dark abyss
around black cavity, nothingness.

I feel unbalanced as I walk
one molar gone, orthodontic
shift in class, the have­-not caste,
one millstone followed by another.

How much grinding bore holes
in enamel, uprooting the bed?
Babies sucked from natal stream
drained the marrow, shriveled the bone.

Frayed blue collar underscores
my lopsided, one­-less­-tooth smile
while white starched collars
curl below rows of faultless teeth.

—Sharon Frye

© 2015, poem, Sharon Frye, All rights reserved


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

One thought on “Poverty Line

  1. The relationship between dentistry (health care), appearance (missing tooth v. faultless teeth), and class (frayed blue collar v. white starched collars) provide a symbolic allegory for the division between the 1% and the 99%. Nice.


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