Lotus Feet and Approaching Joy
For years, I tiptoed around you,
afraid to make a sound,
afraid to rouse the angry tiger
and set you off on some tirade
over how much noise my feet made.
I tried to make myself small,
I tried to disappear.
I bandaged my feet like a Geisha,
so tight the bones broke
and I could no longer walk freely,
could not go anywhere without
you listening for my footsteps,
ready to pounce.
Then one day it hit me:
I could walk on a cloud
and you would still find fault
with the air beneath my feet.
And so I’ve started to slowly
pull off the bandages, unwinding
the wrappings that have cut off
the circulation from my heart.
One by one, they fall in long,
I can almost feel my toes.
I thought I’d died inside,
so much shit had happened.
Then I found myself approaching sixty
down a two-lane highway that cut
through the Colorado mountains.
It was autumn, and the aspen
and the Gambel oak lit up the hills.
I drank in the colors, tequila and cognac
and shots of blackberry liqueur. Silhouettes
of black cows in the fiery fields
burned my eyes. Luminous clouds
filled my lungs, and leaves fell
from the trees and flowed into my
bloodstream. And that’s when I knew:
All was not lost.
Kathryn Bold is a freelance writer whose credits include the Los Angeles Times, Hippocampus Magazine, Failed Haiku, Passager, Zócalo Public Square and the Central Oregon Writers Guild’s 2016 Harvest Writing Contest Winners Collection (for poetry). She’s a past winner of the International Imitation Hemingway Competition for her entry, “The Old Man and the Flea.” She recently moved from the high desert of central Oregon to Orange County, Calif., where there are plenty of people – but few jack rabbits.