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My Teeth Fell Out

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

By Lisa Semmler

AUTHORS NOTE: I wrote this stream of consciousness after I moved to a new place. Moving from my hometown to another regional town was a huge change for me after a year of staying put due to COVID regulations. This is how I was feeling during my first week alone here.

In my dream, my teeth fell out

I haven’t felt that feeling for a long time

I know what it means

All along the bottom jaw, one by one, my teeth dropped into my hand

I cannot feel their weight as I sleep

But my heart sinks.

I shiver with something more than fear


I look down to examine the long roots of my teeth I now cradle in a phantom palm

I think to myself

I am no longer held down by what I knew, no longer tied to the comfort

I am starting afresh. A new perception. Inwards and outwards

Who will I be? Who am I now without...?

In my comfort last year, I sought an adventure

A challenge, to feel anew again

In this mindset: the old world I had lived in seemed completed

The new world I chose to pursue, did not

The new world I chose promised an infinity of possibilities

Paths: winding, overgrown and exhilarating

But now time has passed, even when we all thought it wouldn’t

The endless hours of free time ticked away

Now I stand in the new world on the precipice of my fresh path

I look back to the old world behind me

What have I done?

I’ve made a choice

On the surface, my thoughts get rocky and swirl at times

Old anxieties rear their head above the waves

But underneath, the current is strong and steady

Steering I forward I feel a sense of calm on this path

Or is it just too early to say?

Perhaps I will finish writing this in a few months’ time when I know

What I’ve done with my choice

Will I be changed?

Will I shake my head and say

“Too many metaphors and girl...

you don’t know the half of it yet”?

What if the new path is just as treacherous as the old?

At least I will be prepared for it this time

I now know what to do in the face of the unknown

It has been painful but

I have equipped myself with skills I hope I never have to use again

But I must not think like that

So instead, I tell myself

Yes, when I wake from the dream, I will feel a jolt of panic

A familiar surge I’ve become so used to

The memory of my dream fading too slowly as I wake

I will quickly run my tongue along my bottom teeth

I will feel for deep holes and find none

Instead, I will learn to laugh at my fruitless anxieties and doubts

I will remember that in my safety last year

I sought an adventure

It is here unfolding before me now as I walk a new pathway

Not perfect. Never. But alive, fresh and varied

I will be invigorated


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