Monday, April 10, 2006

Don't Need No Snake Bite

Down day, upper incisors succumb
to some bizarre ravaging British

caries. Melting everyday. Squishy
liquid, his teeth. Jell-O under August sun

picnic. Upper left is a stump.
Smaller than shorn Hawthorn trunks

in the shadow of St. Augustine’s Tower. Gums

pink, molars need crowns
front left tooth - dark brown

leaf mould coloured.
or shit. We’ve gotta get out of this place.

He can not eat. Three days
with no more than peanut butter

on white bread, cous-cous,
Who knew this First

World wants its children

to embrace stoicism at such an early age?
He loves the idea of a dentist.

We keep trying to see
one. Will help us if we flee. Home

remembers insurance
untaxed. Empathy & care.

Note: For 9 months I have been pursuing this so-called free dental care that the NHS provides to children. I have trekked to dentists; filled out forms, filled out lost forms and gotten nowhere.

We can't afford the “private health care insurance” we were promised on our move. If we take it, we get taxed on the income of "the benefit the company is providing." We can’t afford to receive a “benefit!” What kind of country is this?

Today, I took him to the Emergency Dental Clinic at The Royal London Hospital. His upper left incisor has completely melted away. I showed them. he is in pain. he can not eat. They said, sorry - all full up. Bring him back Wednesday at 8:00 (they open at 8:30) and we’ll be able to see if we can provide him with care by 3:00. I need to stay all day at an emergency hospital to see if I can get treatment - for a child whose teeth are now so rotten that he can’t eat?

Thank God I’m still nursing. At least he's getting some nutrients. But, still, I think gotta plan an exit strategy. Gotta get my boy home. Alive.

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