Alison Wong

The Archaeologist

My mother kept our our teeth
in a small kitchen cupboard
along with nail clippers, glass jars
of rubber bands and used postage stamps.
I don’t remember what I was looking for
when I found them, a loose pile
of bones surrounded by artefacts
from the ‘60s and ‘70s. We marvelled
at the shapes of them, my sister
and I, the baby canines, incisors,
molars and pre-molars, words like
hook of hamate, capitate, the little bones
of the wrist. We could have
excavated them, placed
them one by one, night by night
under our pillows, each
once worth 10 or 20 cents, now
worth 50 or perhaps, one
dollar. But whose
were whose and why were they
not classified, arranged carefully
in a shoe box with little white labels
Sharon Ann Wong, 11.07.71,
lower right lateral incisor, loose for 3 weeks. 10c.
or Alison Marie Wong, 25.09.69,
upper left first bi-cuspid, surgery
by cotton thread & door knob, much loss
of blood requiring transfusion, A+. 20c.

Author’s Note


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