Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 35

To all the pregnant ladies.

I seem to know an inordinate amount of pregnant women right now. This goes out to you and your loving husbands. May they be sweet to you.

At Twenty-Three Weeks She Can No
Longer See Anything South of Her Belly

Thom Ward

I'm painting my wife's toes
in Revlon Super Color Forty Nine.

I've no idea what I'm doing.
She asked me to get the bottle,

then crashed on our bed,
muscle-sore, pelvis-aching.

Lifting the brush, I skim
the excess polish across the glass,

daub a smidgen on her nail,
push it out in streaks

over the perfect surface
to the cuticle's edge.

I'm painting my wife's toes.
I've no idea what I'm doing.

The smell of fresh enamel
intoxicates. Each nail I glaze

is a tulip, a lobster,
a scarlet room where women

sit an talk, their sleek,
tinctured fingers sparking the air.


Molly Sabourin said...

This is the sweetest, Kris, and was it so fun to read! Troy never painted my toe nails when I was pregnant (can you imagine me asking him?!), but he did give me many a foot rub!

Kris Livovich said...

I know, the toe nail painting didn't happen here either, but there was lots of rubbing of sore backs and Mike was very sweet about getting me a Coke whenever necessary. I think Coke getting ranks right up there in baffling unimportance to him as nail painting.

Beth Hanna said...

Very sweet poem, Kris! Would that there were more hubbies like that!!

Jenny said...


I love the human quality of this poem. It feels so honest and real. I also like the humility of the author, and the way he keeps saying he has no idea what he is doing--a sense this is about much, much more than painting her nails!

Michelle said...

I wish my dear husband had painted my toenails when I was pregnant - what a sweet thing to do!

Then again, I'm not sure he would have survived the experience. He can't stand the smell of nail polish.

Ruthie said...

The painting of the toenails and the all but telling admission--do any of us really know what we're doing when we plunge into painting toenails...or parenting? Beautiful!