Dear Tooth Fairy

by Alida Woods

From under the freshly fluffed pillows
I extract the note
and the small, jagged lump
wrapped in Kleenex.

In its place
I leave a large, silver coin
bearing the bust of Susan B. Anthony.
I understand that Mr. Lincoln
or even Mr. Hamilton
are popular currency
under other pillows.

I unfold the note
written in my daughter’s
wobbly manuscript. She asks
simply that the tooth be
cared for and brushed
every day.

I tuck the note and Kleenex bundle
in the bottom drawer of
my jewelry box and wonder
about the exchange:
trust that is absolute
for a dollar,
an assurance I cannot give
even 170 years after Seneca Falls.

She deposits the coin with feathers
and postcards
in a glossy, foiled cigar box
under her bed–
her currency of hope.

Alida Woods is an educator and a part-time poet. Her work has appeared in Avocet, Front Porch Quarterly, The Great Smokies Review, Westward Quarterly, and Amsterdam Quarterly. Her chapbook, Disappearing Borders, was published in 2018.

About Dear Tooth Fairy—It is always surprising the myths we uphold for our children. Most of our cultural stories focus on belief. When they can be separated from the material, they offer important lessons in faith.