You are currently viewing ODE TO MY TEETH

Words: Eilidh McDade (she/her)

At the age of 17 i threw my retainer away after countless years of orthodontist visits 

My bottom row of teeth 


now sit w  o        k 

                                   y and obtrusive

                                                     poke hOles in conversations, p r o t  r  u   d    e 

out of my face 

like a bunch of prIcKLy thorns. 

My mother reminds me how much time i have wasted 

                          how much pain i have endured 

                              for these tiny little bones 

      to sit   Nice and Neat in the squidgy warmth of my gums. 

                                          I remind HER 

                                   that tiny little bones 

                      should not be bound with metal 

                               to be bent into perfection. 

Lately i have been dabbling in the art of 


daring to

  • sport rings of clashing metals
  • slot an array of colourful clips into my hair 
  • drown myself in layers of mis-matching fabrics gingham   stripes  and  cheetah-print  

giving high-school-art-teacher realness!

Lately my room has descended into cultivated chaos

                                                      “you messy maximalist trinket hoarder”

                                    draped in collages and old letters and glittery cut-out paper stars 

                                                  porcelain Swedish cats and D-I-Y sock puppets 

                                                                                             (it’s getting weird in here) 

These days I pass the Bechdel test with flying colours 

  these days I 





                             know when to say yes 

                               and how to say no

                  speak both loudly AND on purpose 

                     These days dressing myself up 

               feels a lot like stripping things down 

                                     these days 

                       my tiny little wonky bones 

                   know how it feels to be adored.


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