The Self-organizing Universal Nail Salon |
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The Self-organizing Universal Nail Salon

Third-place 2015 Poetry Contest Winner

As the young, slight, male manicurist
deftly massages my hand, we turn our heads
in opposite directions as if such pleasure
between strangers were unseemly in light

of everyday suffering. But who am I
to believe that broken things might not
even now be making their way toward
new, if temporary, wholes, the ragged

edges of extremities healed, soothed,
polished by the practiced touch of water
on pitted rock, by the ecstatic
surrender of stone to the repeated plunging of wave?


Kathleen A. Dale was born in Kansas, though she has lived on the shore of Lake Michigan for many years. She and her husband have three grown daughters and two grandsons.

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