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A Case of Nerves at the Armadillo Hair and Nail Salon


Photo: Nine-banded armadillo, by, 2008. From Wikimedia Commons.


A Case of Nerves at the Armadillo Hair and Nail Salon

Stay out of the way, it’s opening day
We have some big work to do
Rule number one, remember have fun
And no rolling up in a ball
Us armadillos, we know, will only go
To the side with the manicure station
What we lack in hair, we give great care 
To others who seek a coiffure
Let’s now take suggestions and open up
Questions, get ready, get set, yes?

“If a snake comes in and
Sheds his skin
Shall we tell him it’s okay?”
Of course we do
It’s nothing new
You know they outgrow
And need to let go
Those tight skirts and pants

“And how ‘bout the skunk
With her dreadful smell,
That odiferous trail, inhaled
From a mile away?”
Again we say yes
She’s in need of finesse
And won’t spray us
As long as we’re kind.

“The possum’s problems
Truly can we solve ‘em?
His tresses are messes
The teeth need braces
At least a retainer or two”
Dentistry we ignore
It’s not at the core
Of services that we provide
The hair, don’t despair,
It’s really all there
In the Armadillo book of instructions

Combs, clippers, air fresheners, dryers,
Scissors, shampoos, tiny capes, mirrors, 
Schooled and trained, we’re specialty specialists
Artisan artists, colorful colorists, vibing vibrationists
Now open the door, you’ll see we’re in store
For a treat, well, c'mon and usher those animals in.

Draft, Susan Thomsen, 2023


This kooky little poem grew out of a conversation with a friend about armadillos—and their long, manicure-worthy nails. I didn't envision writing a poem about the matter, but the armadillos took over and here we are. Maybe it's a companion piece to "The Dance of the Moonlight Jellies" from a couple of months ago.

Catherine Flynn hosts the Poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Reading to the Core, on October 13th.


Astoria_Park_pool _Queens_NYC

For Poetry Friday I chose this lovely poem, "Romance," by Susan Browne, from the July/August 2023 issue of Poetry Magazine. Here's an excerpt:

I watch other bodies slip through the blue,
how fast the young are
& how old they become, floating, floating,
forgetting the weight of years
while palm trees sway above us,

I've recently returned to swimming after talking entirely too much about how I wanted to get back to swimming but hadn't been swimming in forever, etc., etc. Yawn. Y'all, it's not that hard. I simply drove over to the beautiful pool at the local Y, where I'm still a member, and jumped in. Perhaps it's my age, maybe it's endorphins, but I can completely relate to Susan Browne's words about "embracing the whole magic show."

Matt Esenwine has the Poetry Friday roundup for October 6th.

Image: Astoria Park Pool, Queens, New York, via Wikimedia Commons.