Pink toenails

Reading in a coffee shop
I catch sight of my fingers
pale against the pages of a book.

My fingernails have been bitten
down to nothing
in moments of anxiety,
which could be any moment –
or every moment – for me.

Usually, I am not bothered –
short nails are practical
good for computer keys
and playing piano,
but sometimes I am sad –
my hands will never boast nails
glittering with color.
Instead, I paint my toenails
and glory in the sandals of summer.

If I could bear the cold and wet
I would go barefoot all year round
and paint my toenails
a different shade of pink every day.

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