Here’s Me

Here’s me,
With all the things that don’t look to match,
Glaring socks- red, purple, black, yellow, blue.
Wanting to find the mate,
But whatever keeps the feet warm, right?

Inside it’s all the same anyway-
But they wouldn’t like it if
We all knew that all the differences
Are created and maintained by
People who make money on difference.

The outside gets to be the billboard
Or the post-it. You decide, you know.
Whether to believe the voices and the texts
And the strange rustling of yourself
Under the sheets of paper and old, torn cotton.

That wind is blowing again, from the south
This time, bringing a smell of old cannons
And resentment for my freedom from those
Leaves of words that have been worked into
The rat-tailed chains prisoners don’t even try to lift.

But I have the idea that it’s all paper and
Mismatched socks, and thoughts and
Sometimes hearts that have been twisted
through disappointment and fear to give
up ever beating for any other, and so can’t love.

Here’s me, and maybe you. Just maybe,
Untangling and untwisting and looking hard
At words and things and noises that are the lights
Of some contrary star. Wreckage ahead,
Not home. Avoided, maybe. Again.

And those cold, cold feet get to keep watch,
Because I can’t have socks telling me
What to do all the time. I only need
One hat, though, and one map, beating-
And one soul. Quiet and strong and warm.

~D Gregory Smith