What a strange job to do!
Beautifying people’s feet.
Making their toenails straight
Cutting away the dry skin
Tidying the cuticles.
Chatting, talking to them
About nothing and everything.
What do they really think about?
These girls who do the pedicure,
What is it that makes them tick?
Are they failed beauticians, or
Did they just draw the short straw?
“Oh another pedicure!
It’s your turn today!”
For an hour they wash and scrape
And rub in and exfoliate
They tenderise, they prettify
And all the time.- it’s SOMEONE’S FEET!
Appendages on which they stand!
On which they walk, encrust with dust and dirt
Something actually quite ugly.
Lumps of sometimes smelling flesh
Globules on the ends of legs.
Get down close and intimate
With strangers bunions and calluses
Filing off the lumps of flesh
And rubbing unguents into heels
Poking sticks down nail edge cracks
And scooping out the yukky bits
What a strange job to want to do!
Manicure is something else.
People’s hands tell who they are.
You’re on a level, face to face
Not squatting down upon the floor,
Not dealing with the foot-soil grime
And massaging the weary calves
And muscles of the standing parts.
Perhaps these gentle angel girls
Are really Jesus in disguise?
Perhaps they wash disciples feet
And listen to the moods and sighs
Of creaking and disgruntled folk
Who just want sweet and lovely feet.
Penelope Dumere © 2008