“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Julia on A and W’s couch

Friday June 15, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

I’m praying to anyone who will listen but also to anyone who has the follow through. Not sure if god gets how deeply uncomfortable it is to have a uterus, so I’d rather talk to someone else. I catch myself calling out for my Nonna. She knew how to live with discomfort. With pain. With problems. She was a freaking magician. A soldier. A person with no teeth and the strongest gums you’ve ever seen. Flapping words around her mouth like weapons. Like violin lessons. She kept her dentures in a yellow cup over night. She once moved her entire living room around with a broken arm because “it had to get done.” And no it did not have to get done. Nothing did. Everyone told her to sit down and rest for once. I’m calling on her now because she didn’t have an off switch. She’s probably making god’s bed while god is still laying in it. She did not let anything stop her. Not even a little bit.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Sasha in her bed

Friday June 15, 2018
5:20pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

My mother lost her teeth when she was forty. She woke up one morning and they were on her pillow. All of them. Even her molars.

When she went to the dentist Dr. Hendricks said that she’d never seen anything like it.

“Perhaps it’s hormonal, Mary. Have you checked your hormones?”

“My hormones are fine, thanks.” My mother said.

I know becuase I was there. Well, almost. I was in the waiting room. See, my mother’s teeth fell out the same month I got mono. She dragged me around to all her appointments and I read comic books in the waiting rooms.

“What’s up with you, Monika?” Dr. Burns, our family doctor said.

“I have mono, remember?” He’d diagnosed me three weeeks before.

“Of course, of course, my mistake. I see a lot of young people, Monika, and it can be hard to keep everyone straight.”

My mother rolled her eyes as though there was no reason to be discussing anything other than her gummy mouth. Or maybe she was also irritated that Dr. Burns, who delivered both me and my brother, had forgotten about my mono. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with her.