Dithyramb* for My Club Feet

Feet, you feel too much; no wonder youoften choose the callous way.  How else can you walk over pebbles and asphalt, bric-a-brac  & shattered vodka bottles in the alley? You know  the orgasm of Epsom salt bath,  the yes!yes!yes!of hot warm towels wrapped  around your anklesafter a sandalwood massage. You know  the delicate dance of phalanges and metatarsals,  ligaments,...

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Feet, you feel too much; no
wonder you
often choose the callous way. 
How else can you 
walk over pebbles and asphalt, bric-a-brac 
& shattered 
vodka bottles in the alley? You know 
the orgasm 
of Epsom salt bath, 
the yes!yes!yes!
of hot warm towels wrapped 
around your ankles
after a sandalwood massage. You know 
the delicate dance 
of phalanges and metatarsals, 
ligaments, tibia, & talus. 
You, club feet, refuse to plyometrics; you know
the danger of the jump. 
To gambol is not your game.    
You stay
close to the ground, always
a little curved, 
always draping like papier-mache. 
You wiggle 
your toes to feel that pleasurepain stretch, 
the muscle memory 
of tendons & bones kneaded like dough, poured 
into plastic casts. 
Your supination is prayer 
for an angled appetite, 
a reminder that we all must turn, 
must all recalibrate  
overandoveragain, the magnetic  
metal sap
underneath us all imperceptibly swishing 
in compass gyration, 
refusing that silence that rings at the last 
twist of the cabasa, 
cylinder and steel beads always turning, 
always rounding 
into an infinite amen.


*A dithyramb is a wild, enthusiastic, and irregular poem. The Hebrew word is shiggaion, and it’s found in Psalm 7 and Habbakuk 3:1.

  • Melanie Weldon-Soiset

    Melanie Weldon-Soiset's poetry lives in Presence, Clerestory, Earth & Altar, and others. She is a #ChurchToo survivor, MDiv graduate from Wesley Theological Seminary, former pastor for foreigners in Shanghai, and Poetry Editor at Geez Magazine. Find Melanie in real life biking on DC greenways. Find her online (including her poetry and prayer newsletter) at melanieweldonsoiset.com (IG: @MelanieWelSoi).

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