Juste une fable n° 53


 dreamscapes (betrayals) n° 23  






Mary Shaw



i judged tina to be hard as nails, tina who wanted to do her nails or rather me to do them for her in the dim twilight. i wanted to go off to a dinner maybe with others or frolic or perhaps just let the blessed sun shine on my face. but the idea was that i still owed my sister something, would not get off so easily as dancing into the sunset or

riding away on a horse scot-free from all the rest.

and i whined and whimpered plenty. i might have started even crying a pool of alligator tears and proposed a thousand alibis, arguing that it was not my job, 

you were not your sister's keeper

and had no need to polish each of her fingertips till it shone like a jewel.

none of that mattered, however. not one of my feelings, which i painted like a flower on the back or the middle screen, withdrew from my sightline the delicate curves in each of her hands as they rested in front of me on the table.

so though i did not polish them, i located the polish in my mind. i found the color in the bag where it was quietly waiting. i twisted the cap off in advance with the sure fibers of my mind, and i even found a bit of remover, a tissue, and a cotton swab to take off the splotches where i would go over the lines, disregard what is sacred at the borders,

in the bed of the nails that always keep you in place,

just as they keep tina.








 Mary Shaw est professeure de littérature française des dix-neuvième et vingtième siècles à l'Université de Rutgers (New Jersey).  Outre ses travaux universitaires, elle a publié deux livres pour enfants ainsi qu'un recueil de poésie intitulé Album Without Pictures (2008).  



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