BLONDE HAIR AND OLD FEET

a three-year old describing her grandmother.

Do you know here have those old feet have been?
Places a granddaughter never could guess–
or even a daughter, who still is too young.

They’ve danced alone on cool spring grass,
printed sand left wet by the ebbing tide.
In stylish shoes,  those feet have tripped
down a city street on some dark errand.
In heavy boots once, they climbed
a hill with a lover to watch the moon rise.

They have walked steady and soft
in a silent room so long that the wooden floor
still holds the memory of their restless tread.

And think of what those old feet
have pressed into earth:
the leaves of long summers,
drifts of dust from skin and stars,
bones and feathers and tears.
 

I wrote this several years ago, when a friend told me of this description of herself.

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