Christopher Morley

(5 May 1890 – 28 March 1957 / Haverford, Pennslyvania)

Song in a Dentists Chair Poem by Christopher Morley


All joys I bless, but I confess
There is one greatest thrill
What the dentist does when he stops the buzz
And puts away the drill.

His engine hums along my gums
its excavating drone,
I salivate and gurgling wait
Vibrating to the bone.

Oh will he save this tooth concave
Or will he now decide
To grind away some more decay?
He murmurs, Open wide.

So I must feel the burning steel,
The hot and fragile twinge
And mutely bide till he push aside
The bracket on its hinge.

But will he swerve toward that nerve?
I wonder, gagged, agape:
He sees me gulp and spares the pulp-
My God, a close escape!

The creosote is in my throat,
I weep against my will;
My nostrils itch, sensation which
I can't relieve until
He stops the buzz and packs the fuzz
And puts away the drill.

I grant the bliss of love's warm kiss
Or wealth, or fame, or skill:
These i esteem but yet I deem
There is one greater thrill-
When he stops the buzz, as at last he does,
And puts away the drill.

Submitted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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