There, is the woman with the feet that turn inward
Walking across the road to the park. Sometimes
She gets stuck in the meridian, tottering as she does
on the outside of her feet—Hers is a hobble
that looks painful and trying. Cars whizzing by on both sides.
I watch from my window as she crosses
Thinking about her life and my own, in which
My soles paddle the ground lightly and I have
Been given, at times, to speed.
My four sisters call my feet water-skis—
Too long, too flat! They cry, pointing
At my poor and blameless feet.
In the Second grade, I picked out a pair of white
Puffy sneakers for school. Once home, I realized
They made my feet look like enormous albino tacos.
I ran outside and threw myself down on the ground
Under a pine in the yard, sniveling.
I was not dainty! I was dreadful!
There began my girl’s life of if onlys—
How much better I would be if I didn’t have
These freckles, this haircut, these thighs...
If I had boobs, a boyfriend, more money.
I have mostly recovered from the if onlys,
But some days, watching her cross to the park,
They return, and I let myself wonder how her life
And my own, might have been different.