I let the nails grow and petrify
over the toes of an old lady.
Nina, whom I love to care for
says it takes podiatry now.
Using water will clean the tool
but cannot sharpen.
That takes metal-hard strength.
Water seams weak to me,
yet it is strong enough to soften and
make a file unneeded.
Her skin has wrinkled so it must be ready.
The water proves itself and
erodes neglect that stiffens nature.
Smoothes aging lines that go deep
like basement rock
Boars through without fizz or drill
And lets me trim and buff and
Polish eight – blood red.
I leave the big toes clean to see my work
And gain some balance.


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