Tough Feet

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Whenever I touch the tough patches on my feet,
I wonder if I could pass as a lady.
I have soft arches, spots which have rarely touched the earth.
But the balls of my feet are solid.
I can tap on them and they talk back to me.
I remember The Moon Lady, Gone with the Wind,
and that episode of the Simpsons.
A rich girl’s feet, a lady’s hands, a seamstress’ finger.
Where am I on this spectrum of skin?
Am I Girl of the Limberlost solid?
Am I Grapes of Wrath durable?
What do I get to aspire to be,
When my feet are hard from walking on gravel
and my hands are tough from climbing up trees?
I tap my feet and wonder –
Do ladies get to have such fine things as callouses?

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In the Stillness / Climb

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In the Stillness

In the stillness of an early morning pre-sun
One eye opens halfway
To ensure you are still there
Resting as you were the night before
Sleep smoothing life’s tensions
Limbs bent and wrapped around the blankets
One eye opens halfway
Ensuring I am still here
Resting next to you
Undiminished and whole
Before the demands of the waking sun
Remove us both
Both eyes shut
In the stillness of an early morning pre-sun

Climb

I told my muscles, “Upward!”
They responded, “Not inclined.”
I chuckled and climbed.

Not far, I promised
When muscles asked for rest
That was just the first crest.

Second ridge was harder
Nothing but stairs into the stone
Muscles took accusing tone.

Pushed us further onward
So close to the peak
Muscles cried out, “We are weak!”

I cheered them “You are strong!”
We hit the top
And had to stop.

Then the horrid moment
Muscles shaking, scared and bent
Contemplating the descent.

Upward, I had cried
Muscles knew from town
What goes up, must come down.

Muscles win the argument
Once I’m soaking in the bath
Facing their knotted wrath

They don’t know my plan
Of going out with a friend
And climbing next weekend.