when I was a child, or maybe a teenager
I spent several weeks on the waiting list
to see an orthodontist about my wonky teeth.
somewhere along this journey, near the end,
I think I called their office. I told them to cancel it.
I didn’t want to be the kid with braces.
my parents were angry about this
in a way that I didn’t understand
because I didn’t think about money or effort wasted.
and I wonder now if I was standing up
for my appearance, wonky teeth and all
or if I just didn’t want another reason
to be the kid everyone laughed at.