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?
A man strums a ukelele.
It’s a soft and sturdy tune.
His white service dog works hard at not being distracted by the wild sparrows fighting over discarded pastry.
To his own music, a boy runs under the jacaranda trees.
He’s been told to catch one on his head.
Something about Canadian mythology.
Purple blooms fall sporadic and soft,
like the strains of music
casually edging the corners of the courtyard,
mixing with the single spout fountain
underscoring the reprimands of hungry birds.
Away, inside, commuters pace, buy, sleep.
Out here the contented vagabonds waiting
For the next train to arrive.
The boy leaps high, his nose touching a falling flower.
Calling this triumph, he sits beside me
And asks if I was watching.