I am performing for a poetry slam of sorts tonight, and I was asked to write a poem given the theme “Walking Barefoot.” Yes, you heard me right. Did I mention it’s a poetry slam at a comedy club? That means, I believe, it’s supposed to be somewhat tongue in cheek.
Or toe on foot, as the case may be 😉
"Ten Merry Men"
Oh naked agents of perambulation!
The unadorned bipedal actors that traverse the land beneath me
As I stroll upon them without dress shoe, boot, flip flop or sneaker
Their fortitude gives armor to my soles, and ardor to my heart.
My legs from above accompany these limbs
which have grown strong with calluses
My heels greet every inch of the road I take
My ankles breathe in the open air
These appendages: sockless, shoeless, in direct contact with all
They have developed their own shell that is tough as leather
I keep nothing from them
I do not suckle, spoil or shelter them from the elements
They have grown smart with direct experience
They are experts in cement, grass, dirt, marble floor, linoleum,
cobblestone, pine leaves
They are intimate with all surfaces
These brave, bare gypsies are equal opportunists
Open to any tactile environment:
Cold as ice, dry as clay, hot as concrete, wet as rain water,
slippery as mud.
Each day is an adventure
Each path is a new dance
Between earth and foot, sediment and flesh
Toes of bounty, feet of courage, needing nothing
They are self-sufficient, free-standing, beautiful.
I take evening strolls, morning jaunts, and afternoon promenades
walking with my ten merry men,
they who are exposed yet never complain
they who carry me skillfully, as if by chariot
All the way home.
So happily I walk on bare feet!