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 is a mental health professional, poet and Research Fellow at IIM, Rohtak. He maiden volume of poetry, An Essence of Eternity was published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi in 2016. His poem, Righteous Among the Nations won the third prize at the 2019 All India Poetry Competition. His work has appeared in Indian Literature, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Vayavya, Eclectica, Cha, and elsewhere. He can be found at Cats Who Read, re-imagining his favourite novels with his two cats (obviously!) playing his favorite characters.