The Human Root
by Jennifer Newhouse

  1. In yoga class, I'm asked to remember my feet
  2. when I was little. I laugh and laugh,
  3. hysterical at the absurd idea that I can't remember
  4. that which I've outgrown. Now my heels are rough
  5. and my calves are wide. My veins surface
  6. with age. One large as the Mississippi
  7. courses through my metatarsals.
  8. The Colorado traces each arch.
  9. I can't remember them differently, a time
  10. when they weren't blue with life, long and broad
  11. as any man's, though they are often called pretty—
  12. you have such pretty feet—men and women alike
  13. amazed that a body can be both ample and strong,
  14. or that toes can splay out perfectly into grass
  15. or sand or dirt, joining heart to earth.
Packingtown Review – Vol.9, Fall 2017

Jennifer Newhouse earned her MFA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Triquarterly, Lake Effect, The Chattahoochee Review, SAND, The Minnesota Review, Appalachian Heritage, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Chowan University and lives in Suffolk, Virginia.

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