We have been together my lower left canine and I

for more than 50 years but there is no ceremony

to help the aging mourn the imminent loss of a tooth

and there should be because we shared countless meals

appearing together in hundreds of smiling photographs

but no one seems to understand the pain now

present and psychological which has migrated from my jaw

to my left ear so here I am wounded warrior

breathing in the surgeon’s welcome mist

trying to remember how did I get to where I am

which according to my mother whose version of history

was at times fanciful her side left Scotland in 17-something

before the English could kill them settling in upstate New York

where most of them but not all died in an Indian attack

and my father’s family left Dublin in 1863

before the English could kill them arriving in New York City

just in time for the Draft Riots so someone said

let’s lose the Irish O and nobody got shot which

is how I got here counting back contemplating lack

of consoling ritual to mark the death of a tooth and

how it’s all about years and years of migrating pain