Matthew Paul – “Dentistry”


The morning after the Great Storm
of 1987, as it will be known, Dad
…………wakes hungover-me, early

doors, to help him shift a silver birch
that’s KO-ed the fence. I’ve slept
…………through the whole shebang.

In return, he gives me a lift to the curly-
mulleted dentist, who wants to know
…………what subject I’m studying.

From my bleeding mouth, I spit
‘Philosophy’. He asks if I’ve learnt
            the meaning of life. I slur

something vaguely clever. ‘To think,’
he says, ‘us hard-working taxpayers
…………have to subsidise that shit.’

Matthew Paul’s collection, The Evening Entertainment, was published by Eyewear in 2017. His two collections of haiku – The Regulars and The Lammas Lands – and co-written/edited (with John Barlow) anthology, Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku, were published by Snapshot Press. He lives in Rotherham, blogs at and tweets @MatthewPaulPoet.


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