POEM: big toe pose


big toe pose

the outer layer is a pinkish stucco
from the time when someone in
this northeastern city thought
southwestern walls would work
behind that a layer of paint or plaster
darker, less welcoming, more honest
dig a little deeper and you’ve exposed
what looks like the wall of a canyon
(picture weighted-down mules following
a trail to the canyon floor)
finally brick, the truth, covered
again and again as if to hide
that this place, like most places
was born from the breasts and backs
of people who worked for a living
you might wonder if any of this matters
given that standing in front of the layers
is someone living in exactly this moment
you might think that although history
is important, it’s still history
you might say that to hold one’s big toe
and find balance for a few moments
is greater than the work of the bricklayers
and architects and stonemasons
you might be right

20 June 2013
Auburn AL

/ / /

I’m writing a poem a day in 2013. During June, each day’s poem will be inspired by a photo of writer Arielle Brousse doing yoga. I’ve been a fan of her writing for years. Arielle writes the Unforgettable Detritus blog and curates The Sensible Nonsense Project, a collection of writing about people’s favorite childhood books. Thank you to Arielle for allowing me to use the photos, and for all the entertaining and inspiring writing she’s done over the years.

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