Painting Gramma’s Nails
by Michael Escoubas

She dutifully lays weathered fingers flat
on the coffee table
soft hands gently separate the fingers
as the purposeful child arranges jars
of nail polish all in a row–

sky-blue, emerald-green, daffodil-yellow
autumn-orange, lilac-lavender–

“Hold still Gramma, I need to focus.”

Each brushstroke goes on Picasso smooth.
Soon wrinkled fingers feel a freshening of life.
They glow in sunlight, brightening the world
like rainbows after a storm
like a bouquet cut from garden stems.

The painted nails
become a bond of love
forged in innocence–
long remembered by a child in later years
and by a Gramma who hid her tears
as she felt the touch of satin-soft fingers.


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