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.