The day the right thumb is freed from its purple cast
I attempt to insert it through manicure scissors,
eager to clip the wicked talons down to a reasonable length.
But the thumb is not yet fully operational, balks at
being shoved through delicate metal, does not have
the oomph to prune a month’s growth from my digits.
Twenty of them suddenly seems overwhelming.
Who has the hand strength to keep all these babies in check?
Sure, I could’ve sought professional help, but when gaps
arrived in my too-packed schedule, I have chosen to rest
because, I figure, lying down helps thumb and twisted ankle
recover, too. But at long last, on the appointed day,
you accompany me to the cast man with his little saw,
take photos as my right hand waggles on its own once again,
grin as I brush dead skin from the lizard hand blinking
in bright light. You offer to snip the ambitious thumbnail,
which has happily grown into a piercing tool.
After dinner, we sit at the dining room table, bright light
shining on my digits as you whittle down first the nails
on all ten fingers, then, after a soak in the tub, all ten toes,
something you have never done for me or
I for you, proving, once again, that after decades
together, there is still new ground to be trod
on our aging, well-groomed, cute little toes.