Paul Butters


At The Dentist - Poem by Paul Butters

Angela sits pretending to read some magazines,
In the dentist’s waiting room.

“No way will I have gas! ” she’d said.
“You must. The abscess will burst if we try to inject.”
“Oh, all right then.”

So here she is.
“Angela.”
The girl with bright red lipstick is back.
Last time it was, “Please go to the toilet.”
Angela puts on her best false smile and follows the young lady,
Into that room.
Onto that chair.
She cannot help but spot the balloon-like breathing-bag,
Those cylinders and
The long piping leading to the big black hanging mask.

The men are here by now.
“Are you comfortable? ” asks the nurse.
Physically she is: the head-rest soft and cradling,
The chair reclining for ease.
Yet mentally she just feels sick
With Fear.

The man who holds the mask says,
“Just relax and breathe deeply.”
For now the mask is on her face!
Gas pours down
Like a wind.
Her toes are numb!
She recognises that from last time.
Angela opens her mouth and chooses to breathe through that.
Her lips numb too.

The taste is better than she thought.
An ozone freshness fanning on her face.
Strong fresh air.
“Just Breathe deeply for me.”
She does!
The air all wiggles and wriggles.
So she shuts her eyes.
The mask is like a massive kiss,
Pressed firmly to her face.
Providing a private atmosphere
For her to breathe
And breathe
And breathe.
She breathes the wholesome fluid.
Along that pipe she hears some valve
Opening and closing,
With every breath
And knows that balloon breathing-bag
Is blowing up and down,
As she hungrily gulps the gas.

It’s nice!
Now waves and waves beat down on her.
Then calm.
And up she floats,
Floating and bobbing about,
An eddying and swirling feeling:
All at sea:
Swirling and surging.

Ozone.
Utter therapeutic Relaxation.
Her body seems so remote.
Floating.
Breathing.
Ozone.
F loating.

“That’s it Angela! All done.”


Written and © PB 13\4\08. Additions made 22\4 from 16\4 list of 16\2\69 expressions from original account.


Comments about At The Dentist by Paul Butters

  • (6/14/2008 6:29:00 PM)


    I was given ether as a child. One of the worst experiences of my life.
    I'm glad its better now.

    GW62
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Craig Anderson (4/21/2008 8:18:00 AM)


    I was riveted by this. It was if I was getting in the chair, a really excellent expression of the surroundings, pipes and the black mask and all (shudders) . You have a great talent in your descriptives Paul.
    Regards Craig.
    (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (4/13/2008 10:21:00 AM)


    I remember GAS when I was about seven, and I hated it, I'd rather have an injection anyday. It is all so clinical though, which makes it even more fearful. Dentists don't worry me now thankgoodness. So I could enjoy this without any phobias appearing. Well described. Love poems about everyday events.
    Love Ernestine XXX
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 13, 2008

Poem Edited: Tuesday, June 11, 2013


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