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2020-05-29T14:13:27-04:00May 29th, 2020|Musings on life|

My mother’s toes

So much of what we inherit
is one spice in a big soup
so that it’s hard to say,

oh yes, she got her stubbornness
from her great aunt Dolly
and her ambition from the father
she never met,

except for physical traits
which reproduce unmistakably
like a baton in a relay
handed from one generation to the next.

My mother’s toes, for instance,
a set of calloused cashews
fixed crookedly to each foot
so that it looks as though
they were sewn on last-minute.

I have the same ones,
a slightly softer set, for now,

and while I tend to hide them in socks
or bury them like bugs in the sand,

I know that when she dies one day
I will wear open-toed shoes
to her funeral
even if it’s winter,

my baton held proud
and high.

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