A Moment of Self-Care

My collection of colors is quite modest.

It isn’t what it once was.

I circulate between three colors,

Poinsettia Red, Vermont green, and cloud white.


See, I don’t paint my nails as much as I did in years past.

I grew into a skin I hated

And grew out of my desire to flail visual art on my cuticles.

As my execution became neater and the mistakes became less

My self-hate became stronger

And no matter how strong I shook

I couldn't tip over the bottle and pour myself out.


I painted my nails today.

I even wrote it into my schedule.

4:00 PM no earlier and absolutely no later.

I will admit my skills are quite rusty

And my trusty paper towel took the brunt of today’s work.


My hands shook with angst

Just look at my nails for the evidence.

Frustrated with the excess paint in the sides of my nail

I wiped away my work in progress

Reminding myself that some canvases can be cleaned.


I pressed on and on for an outcome that pleased me.

And after a handful of minutes, I questioned

Why I was applying such strenuous thought to a mindless task.

My drive to work hard seems to lack an off switch.


I painted my nails today.

I wiped my stress-induced tears, tied my hair back, let my shoulders relax

And I painted.

Each new stroke came with ease and effortless preciseness.

Every nail coated in the cloud white pigment

Erased the wrinkle in my forehead.


I painted my nails today

This may not be a big deal to you.

But for a moment

Just one moment,

I didn't have to think about bills, work, my weight, or my future.

I didn’t have to think at all.

I just painted.

And now, with each new day

I can carry the remnants of that one moment of self-care and tranquility.