Tough Feet


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?


Days 7-8


Day 7:  Sweet

Give me sweet dreams,

sweet books,

sweet treats,

sweet looks,

sweet hearts,

sweet times,

Sweet Tarts,

sweet rhymes…

And lest my soul get a toothache

You can break my heart for bitterness.



Day 8:  Graceful Hands


I can delicately drink my tea,

Wrists suspended on gossamer strings.

And with these delicate wrists

I can thread a night crawler on a hook, and

Wrestle a bass from the water.

Cut it, gut it, and cook it.

Gracefully place it on a table before you

Where all the silverware is exact,

The stemware has no smudges,

And there is a separate plate for bones.





When I write about heartbreak, I get a little self-conscious. I don’t think a person has ever broken my heart. I’ve broken my own a couple of times, but it’s standard to imply that someone else has done it.

In the initial draft of “Sweets” I did not add the bitterness at the end – I was feeling lighthearted and playful and was enjoying some music. Upon completion of the poem, however, it occurred to me that such a whimsical idea might garner resentment. And so, I added the harsh last lines so that you, my audience, would not hold my lightheartedness against me.

In my journal, it’s just a sweet poem.