People say you can tell a lot about a woman's style by what her nails look like.
For my mother, acrylics with baby pink sparkly french-tips.
For the blonde sitting at the nail dryer, coral.
Something about the color
looks strange with her new engagement ring.
She talks about how the second time she hung out with her fiancé
she asked him to paint her nails.
Her mother, who she insists she'll pay for, gets french tips.
They look new and fresh in contrast to her tarnished wedding ring.
The little girl with skinned knees and bug bites sitting in the chair across from me asks for blue polish on her toe nails.
Her mother tells her she should get pink.
The act of women getting their nails done reminds me of warriors being armed for a fight.
all fit for different types of battle.
Pointed for the woman who has to walk home alone at night,
rounded for the woman in the workplace who must work harder than her male co-workers,
and square for the woman at home raising her kids to know that strength and kindness
are the same thing.
The women who work here speak better English than most high school students.
And their accents tell stories that I will never know.
An older woman speaks loudly and slowly,
she treats them as if they do not understand.
She will not speak to anyone but the owner; she wants him to translate what she wants to the salon workers.
What she doesn't realize is
that she is the only person here who doesn't understand.
The little girl's doll is named Tessa.
She tells me that she likes my hair and shoes,
even though she has been told not to talk to strangers
twice in the last hour she has been here.
She asked her mother for change,
we all assume it's for the gumball machine in the corner.
She puts all of it in the charity jar.
I hope this girl never changes.
5. Having bare nails in a nail salon
feels the same as being naked in public.
I feel terrible for laughing at the women trying to walk in those little salon flip-flops.
Some look like ducks,
others look like trained Barbies;
ready for the world to chip away their coating
and over again.
A bit of an untraditional poem, heavily inspired by Facts Written from an Airplane by Sierra DeMulder.