A pedicure is an archaeological expedition, 
if those feet belong to your mother.  

A part of this country was your beginning of history.  
A faded bruise from childhood on the knee is a time machine

sending you to a world that didn’t begin with or belong to you.  
Yet, you find comfort in the texture of skin that is your skin too. 

Add Foot Cleanser in a bucket of lukewarm water. Soak the feet 
for five minutes. Rinse, wipe and apply  Foot Scrub. Mind you, 

the whorls near the shins that you mistook for galaxies at eight
won’t just smoothen and vanish. So massage gently, and expect 

no miracles. Apply the Foot Cream. Massage into the cuticles. 
Be careful from falling into the crevices under cracked soles, of getting 

lost in their hopeless aridity. Carry generous amounts of moisture
in your heart. Steer clear of the shanks. You had long  believed rain-water

flowed into rivers of Varicose from a purple bruise. But those were 
mere cave drawings, telling the story of a hard-at-work woman in a joint family.  
Wipe the feet and repeat this after a month. Continue the task of

loving. But expect no miracles.


Photo by Nirzar Pangarkar on Unsplash

Ankush Banerjee

Ankush Banerjee, a Delhi-based poet, researcher and mental health professional, is the author of An Essence of Eternity (Sahitya Akademi, 2016). His work appears or is forthcoming in Eclectica, Indian Literature, Cha, and in the Yearbook of Indian Poetry 2020, and Best Asian Poetry 2021. He lives in New Delhi with his wife and two cats, Simba and Boey.