Ossified (From Below)
My feet are long and thin
with bulbous onion growths
beneath the skin. It’s like
you have three ankles
on each foot, my husband counts,
four if you include the real one.
And why, I wonder, each day
on the train, looking up at the host
of podiatry ads, are “before”
feet always so dirty (as if their owners, guilt-ridden,
stomped a wine made not of grapes
but ash) while the “afters”
have been de-smudged
as well as straightened, the services of
some modern Mary Magdalene
thrown in with the op.
My feet, despite the knobs, have (I flatter myself) a
singular beauty; the tendons cables, the skin
as taut and transparent as the marble veil
on a sculpted face. How I marveled
at those stone veiled heads
as a child visiting
museums, monuments–the way their features glanced
through an opaque gauze, the crease of marble
as tulle. Only my feet, not artifacts
as such, are more like
fleshly raincoats (the flasher inside out) whose ragged hems slowly
fill with quarters, lip balm, and this or that key
I had to replace.
They say old age creeps up on you, my grandmother
used to sigh, looking down at her own legs, like flaking
posts by the side of the bed, as if she could catch the years
in their scaling creep. Ooh, she moaned when my mother
on their dry stiffness, too cold.
I’m posting the above poem late in the day for dVerse Poets Pub first Open Link Night of their second year of existence. (Happy Birthday dVerse Poets Pub, in other words. May the feet in all your poems stay fresh even as they age!)Explore posts in the same categories: poetry comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.