My Father’s Bag of Teeth

by Laura Serwe

My father walked childhood
carrying his teeth
in a bag.

When lucky, he’d role em 
like dice and shake em
at girls. On

only the very best
occasions he’d push
em back in

their sockets. He would say
a full set was high

like he were wearing gold
cufflinks. A man don’t
keep teeth in

and smile. A man gums his
steak; builds callouses
on his jaw.

Laura Serwe has been published in Sundog Lit, Sheepshead Review, Mad Hat Lit, and is forthcoming in The Canopy Review. She works part-time at the Public Defender and as an adjunct instructor. She and her husband live in Columbia, MO with their imaginary dog, Professor Pugglesworth