Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Bit of Red for Valentine's Day

I Shall Paint My Nails Red, by Carole Satyamurti, 1990

Because a bit of colour is a public service.
Because I am proud of my hands.
Because it will remind me I'm a woman.
Because I will look like a survivor.
Because I can admire them in traffic jams.
Because my daughter will say ugh.
Because my lover will be surprised.
Because it is quicker than dyeing my hair.
Because it is a ten-minute moratorium.
Because it is reversible.

From: An Introduction to Poetry. Kennedy and Gioia, eds. 8th edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.


  1. I wish I had nice nails so I could paint them red :)

    1. I think I had nice nails for a couple of days once, after I had been sick for a week with the flu and hadn't done any dishes or other work with my hands! So I can vicariously experience glorious red nails through this poem.

  2. Annie doesn't go ion much for fingernail painting. Toenails on the other hand, belong in an entirely different domain.

    1. Her hands are too busy quilting, I imagine. :)

  3. I love this! I rarely paint my fingernails b/c I do not want to draw attention to my hands - they are "worn" - I do like to have pretty toe nails in the warm weather - but the reasons the poet listed here make me want to change my mind. I actually proud of what my hands CAN do - I just don't think they are attractive....

    1. What a great comment, "proud of what my hands CAN do."
      It's a losing battle to keep my hands in moderately good condition--mine are worn, too, but thinking of all our hands have accomplished-- well, WOW!
      I save the polish for my toes, also. I guess the toes deserve their own post one of these days. But Mark will probably leave and never come back if we go to discussing toes, even as open-minded as he is!:)

  4. Never come back? Me? Don't you worry-I am accustomed to being on the fringes of many of these discussions.

  5. Not a nail polisher--fingers or toes. Too lazy. But love this poem anyway.