lawn sprinklers on green grass with pink chairs
[ This photo is in the public domain. ]

How Your Feet Became My Existential Crisis

My father always concealed his feet.
Well, maybe not when we were young
and lacking a pool, running though the sprinkler
in our swimsuits,
back then he didn’t find them ugly at all.
Nor did they trouble him that afternoon,
in stiff black leather,
they stepped from the limousine and marched,
heel-toe, heel-toe, into the church
straight to the altar to give me away.
Actually they were pretty damn fine until the year
I watched the unravelling of my youth,
the summer I turned 35.
July: the town had emptied out,
all but me and my now-ex
departed
for their rustic cottages on Lake Champlain.
Humidity settled on my chest, refused to budge.
I thought I was having a heart attack.

              Hours post-surgery,
they’ve propped you up with a wrapped snack
that’s one molecule away from plastic.
Your garage door is open, code for
“tie up your hospital gown, we all see your bum.”
From the bed sheets your feet protrude like flippers,
shiny red bunion on each,
second and third toes crossed over each other
all because of a cheap pair of shoes from Eaton’s
that were too damn tight, quote unquote.