My mother told me that as soon as my brother and I could run, we were headed for the street. We’d toddle on our little feet out the front door and towards roads that sounded like rushing ocean waves. Or at least, I would, my mother sprinting behind me with one eye towards my brother who was just headed for the play


And my feet have always grounded me, pulling me closer to the earth, closer without shoes or soles or souls to see or feel

                        Or hear.

Here is the way I abuse my feet when I run. I tear them to red ribbons, dripping

                        Down into the earth so neat,

                        So green or

Deep umber,

            Maybe ochre,

                        Maybe blue hues from pansies grown in my grandmother’s garden,

My mother’s garden held hasta and lavender and things you shouldn’t eat,

            But that I could certainly run through.

My feet are careful stewards of my calves and shins, thighs and knees. They rest behind my husband’s thumbs and carefully cry to me in my sleep. They pad behind padded paws, held taught on cloth leashes.

            They curl and extend underneath me.

            When I was little I used to run

                        Into the street

                                    And my mother ran after me.

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