Fifteen words or more

I’ve written before about participating in Laura Purdie Salas’ 15 word-or-less challenge.  It’s the one challenge that I try to do weekly.  Thursday’s prompt was a picture of colorful rubber bands, which made me think of braces.  I remembered the taunts that some kids faced after getting braces, and thought about how a shy kid might reply.  Here’s a revised, fifteen-word-or-more version of my poem:

After the Orthodontist Appointment

“Metal mouth,
tinsel grin,
rubber-banded
to your chin!”

Should I act like
I don’t care,
or give those beasts
a bracing glare?

Then I started thinking about a more self-confident kid considering her new look (and that kids now get to choose the color of those braces!) I wrote a second, less-autobiographical version that I think I prefer:

After the Orthodontist Appointmentchicago-braces

I’m metal-mouthed,
tinsel-grinned,
rubber-banded
to my chin.

At least my bands
are pretty pink–
Our bracing kiss
will clink, clink, clink.

Head over to The Opposite of Indifference, where Tabatha’s hosting today’s Poetry Friday Roundup (warning: you might be wandering for a long time through Tabatha’s directory of Imaginary Poems!)18923_original

26 thoughts on “Fifteen words or more

  1. April Halprin Wayland

    Buffy,

    This was definitely a lesson for me in writing from my experience and THEN taking a look around at what teens THESE DAYS are experiencing.

    It reminds me that I can’t count on mine own time to define theirs…and in this case, that’s a good thing. I agree with Laura…”You capture that feeling of one foot in childhood (braces) and the other in adulthood (kissing).”

    Reply
  2. Irene Latham

    Ha! I have bracing memories of braces… that might include a coupla sweet sweet bracing kisses. 🙂 Fun! My youngest son was the only one of my 3 who took advantage of the colored bands. Different every time! Thanks for sharing, Buffy!

    Reply
  3. Heidi

    It would be a fun thing to keep these two together for a lesson about voice and perspective. Thanks for reminding me to take the challenges that are offered by the community!

    Reply
  4. Linda Baie

    Braces are starting earlier sometimes, so the students (6th grade and up) are mostly suffering. I like the second one, too. The orthodontists are trying to make them less awful I guess. There is a new graphic novel called Smile about dental problems and the feelings surrounding them. Those rubber bands go everywhere don’t they?

    Reply
  5. B.J. Lee

    I should really do this challenge every week too, Buffy. Such good practice, writing with limits. I love both of these poems but the “bracing kiss” wins the show!

    Reply
  6. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    The second poem also reminds me of how commonplace glasses are these days– hardly a stigma attached to braces or glasses any more! This is, of course, a good thing. Like you, things quite were different when I was a kid.

    Reply
  7. Tabatha

    It’s an interesting question — to ignore teasing or to give them the Look of Doom?

    I think you’re right that today they are more “fashion statements” than embarrassments.

    Reply

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