Touch Your Toes
Funny how we deal with feet. I have seen a woman cradle hers and treat it like the dearest babe. I know some folks who shun their feet; can barely stand to think of them, let alone to touch them. There are the Mani-Pedi people who leave it in the hands of others. I met a guy who soaks them soft and tucks little bits of cotton under the corners of his nails. I know too, the woman with the snarling crusty dogs that serve to others as a warning. My grandma warns me not complain about my shoes lest I meet the man who has no feet, but I doubt I would fit in his.
Mud pies and retro-childhood
Are for the hurt ones, small and angry inside me.
They require care and special attention
But I can’t stop with them.
Saving children to starve the adolescents is a sad fate
Or abandoning adults after bringing them all this way
Is indescribably cruel.
I cannot work on healing
All the while waiting for some ice flow
To shove myself off on.
There is never a time I am not the responsible party
For the people who inhabit my interior life
I live their reflections every day.
There is no one-way mirror
With which to hide unresolved issues
No rug to sweep them under
They flow through me like a river
I must return them to breed new health
As a salmon swims back to the waters
Of its birth to bring new life.
I must brave the complexities of maturity
I cannot just sit in the mud
You are reading selections from More Sober on the Way to Sane and Lines From My Life by Sherrie Theriault