ODE TO MY TOES

(After Neruda’s Odes to Common Objects)

You ten good companions
on this long road—
how much I owe you!
Rosy buds you once were,
good little piglets lined up
for their treat…
Now all askew, askance,
please keep me toddling
oh my tootsies–
even though one of you
has to clamber over the next
even though your porky neighbor
has mislaid its sense of direction
and is pushing
all of you sideways.
Tough as roots, you’ve
turned turnip, grown
gnarly with work.
Rubbing arnica into your crevices
I salute you– and your refusal
to quit the journey.

-Geraldine Zetzel 7/14