Ode to the Pedicure Place at the Mall

This entry is part 26 of 93 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2011


That kind of day— when even the wren
in the tree swipes its bill back and forth
on the end of a dead limb, as if sharpening

a knife on the whetstone. And so instead
of waiting resigned for the blade to fall,
or the basilisk to sink its old caried

tooth into the vein throbbing at the base
of my nape, I betake myself to a spa
called Millennium Nails at the mall.

The water in the basin swirls with warmth;
and a dark-haired woman named Maria takes
my tired, callused feet into her two gloved

hands. She lathers and massages with pomegranate
oils, sugar and crushed walnut seed scrubs till—
don’t laugh— the ginger-root knobs on my toes

unclench. When she lifts my feet to pat them
dry on the terrycloth towel, I know all about
her so-called best friend who didn’t come

to her wedding, and she knows the age
when I had my first child. Is it the light
chemical veil of ammonia floating in the air,

or the low-key bubble of voices across the room?
No matter: I can only think of the poet who’d written
of the world in a grain of sand and of holding

infinity in the palm of his hand; and of how,
likely, he never had a pedicure in all his life.
Maria and I bend over rainbow rows of bottles

with names like Haze of Love or Cha-Cha-Champagne;
Snake Charmer, Bling to Me, Seize the Daze, Fire Starter—
for all I know, they could be ruby-lit signs:

shiny new fortunes just waiting to be painted on.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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5 Replies to “Ode to the Pedicure Place at the Mall”

  1. This is the reason I should write (properly) again. You will find magic in the everyday things. Thank you guys! Hi Luisa!

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