Uncle Wally tosses and turns in his narrow little bed.
His teeth are bubbling on the nightstand, in a glass.
During the day, when he puts them in,
his mouth turns down like a clamp,
like a puppet jaw, snapping and clacking when he talks.
But now his teeth are bubbling in a glass,
and his mouth caves in, it is a hole,
and the evil spirits are coming out from the walls
and trying to enter into him.
You have no teeth, Uncle Wally, they say.
You are empty. You are nothing.
Let us fill you up.
And he tosses and turns,
he tightens his lips and he shakes his head,
In the morning when he comes down to breakfast,
he is clean and bright and smells of aftershave.
His teeth clack once a minute, every time he smiles,
broad and straight and white.
No one knows the battle he has fought that night,
the battle he fights every night,
tossing and turning on his narrow little bed.