Naked Feet

Naked Feet
byBarbara Strang

In this classic summer
my shoes slip off easily,
my bare feet grope across
worn carpet or wooden stairs –
moist grass is like a kiss.

At Lake Wakatipu each summer
we took off our shoes, walked bare.
First without their armour
my soles were pierced
by every pebble

but soon I could run over
dry turf and lakeside gravel.
My soles became
black and hard,
filthy as the road.

Naked feet could creep
naked feet could caress
could slip into the flawless waters
of the lake where they shivered
naked feet could dance.

The long hot summer ended,
February and school came around,
the soles scrubbed clean
were reimprisoned
in their cowhide tombs.

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