Toe varnish is a political alternative

You come from Vietnam,
And you painted my toes
With indefatigable devotion.

You didn’t even take a lunch break.
I think you’re used to back breaking work
And you were willing to sacrifice your rest
For my relaxation.
But you made me think,

As I flicked through my copy of George Monbiot
And assessed the points he made on the urgent need for the democratisation of global governance.

And you asked me suddenly what colour I would like.

I was startled back into your reality..

‘Ah yes! Gold or Red, which should it be?’

I turned my mind from the World Bank and the Marxist alternatives
And pondered the need for colourful toes.

We decided that the gold,
Although promising on the shelf,
Looked bland once applied
And that the red,
Although enticing in the bottle
Was in fact too fierce and made one look a little past it.

So we settle on a wonderful compromise;
A startling pink.

It looks great!

Just the thing in fact;
Youthful, vibrant, with a touch of classless oriental audacity.

Just out of an old habit, I check the name of the colour
And am stunned

‘Indefatigable Devotion’, by Jade

Indefatigable Devotion!
The colour in which I now stand,
The standard to which I now hold firm,
By toe-varnished anointing.

I put the George Monbiot and its critique of anarchy into my bag
And you give me a little smile, as I hand you the tip;
Nothing really as the price for my new shining stature.

I love shops, in which,
As if by magic,
The essential suddenly appears.

© Sarah de Nordwall July 2003