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May 2014
Some fingers have this tendency
to crack, snag, and rip themselves
to shreds.  A flurry of something like daisy
petals cling, infinite single cell threads
waiting for the right he loves me
not to fall apart.

Some fingers shed their tired
ridges in fluttering crescent smiles
peeling from the edges of soft pink nails.
They pull away like feathers ruffled
out of place in a sudden updraft,
bent at too-sharp angles.

Finger skin was always the strongest,
never flaking just because, but for the effort
of work and teeth.  Those hangnails bleed
strength.  They drip patience, hours
of work in restaurant sinks,
needlepoint and dresses.

They bleed music, lullabies.
A chorus of little sopranos sing
to tiny babies in cribs built
by driftwood scratched bone-smooth
and tough as chainmail.
Written by
featherfingers  swpa
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