all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Sunday, January 01, 2006

a great miracle happened here


















The amazing thing
is that my feet grew one whole size this year
as if I were 13 again, and just beginning to transcend
the child that was my body by sliding into some other, mucky arena.
In this way my feet, too, enjoyed an unseen, subsurface blooming
until an impromptu visit to the mall betrayed their real circumstances.

I'm stunned. I'm a 33-year-old woman
with sudden size 11s, which thrusts me into
the slimmer aisles with fewer selections, or worse,
points me to those specialty order catalogues
created for near-freaks of nature, who bypass
all of the physiology laws by continuing a slow, steady expansion.

What God made these feet, I wonder,
and what's the point anyway? Things were doing just fine down there.
Then, hauling my purchase to the front counter, I remember
this business about embracing change and I think,
hey, it's just feet.

And later, musing about the odds,
finding the number 11 almost lucky,
I can't help but imagine
a great miracle happened here.
At 33, an impossible, unforeseeable adolescence
starting at the very bottom of the ladder.

Now, with three new pairs of shoes holding the fort down,
I start to picture other invisible blossomings,
my body making tiny, incalculable ascensions,
the slightly bigger fistfuls, minutely longer strides,
the little bit of extra weight my shoulders can bear,
the modest flexing of my own stubbornly decisive heart.

I tell you,
I didn't think I would grow like this again,
parting the air with each new quarter inch,
as if something inside of me, long held back,
kept in check and neatly tucked away,
was finally loosing itself from its niched privacy,
unfurling at last its true length,
and like a creaky old door, awash in a mysterious subplot of breeze,
yawning open.

6 comments:

la vie en rose said...

here's too your growth!

kelly said...

i love that photo...it is so
peaceful. is that a {bloom}
vase to the side, that i see?

Shari said...

What a beautiful perspective! I tell me 3-year-old daughter when someone comments on how she has grown and the size of her feet..."they're good for climbing trees!"

Norene said...

congratulations on your miracle! perhaps it is a sign of great things to come...

Judi said...

I love this poem. Your feet can now be firmly planted on the ground.

I have a friend and neighbor who came to LA from Germany many years ago. She said that she always had a hard time buying shoes here. She waits till she goes home to visit to buy shoes. Her size is much more common there.

Maybe it is time to do some traveling. :-)

Corey Amaro said...

That is putting your best foot forward! Growing at any age! Wonderful!