• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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Painting my Mum’s Nails

I wait until she's asleep and her hands are still,
gently curled in her lap, before I turn them over,
place them palm down, fingers spread on her knees.

Lost to me in dreams, she stirs and sighs
as I stroke the brush down each slender, ridged nail
from pink half-moon to flaking, white-crested tip.

When she wakes, she will lift her hands
in front of her eyes, let them drift and flit,
drowsy as butterflies in a summer breeze.

For hours she'll sit like this, smiling
up at her fingers as they dance. Sometimes,
on good days, they'll alight on my face.