Armless Wonder

by Jamie Iredell

For the woman with no arms, life is a constant dexterity demonstration. Her feet snip scissors through a sheet of cardstock, rectangling out a plane. Her feet ink her signature, lilting in whorls, smooth, seamless as her face. She is Venus—not the goddess, but the planet—a star so bright it blinds, a star with phases: whole, waxing, waning, gone. Her feet caress her husband's skin. Her toes stream his tears, which stream his cheeks when onlookers look on. “It's okay,” she whispers. To the starers her feet strike a match and spark her cigarette, tipping the end to the ashtray, butt gripped between big toe and the next little piggy. Her father had called her toes that, piggies, and she laughed and rolled helpless when he pinched a piggy in those wondrous digits about which she knew nothing: fingers. Father sang: “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home. . .”