Building 45

Literary/Arts Journal

Homage to Her Feet

by Kosal So

She could have killed the seed that sprouted inside her belly
The nine months it took before it was born
She could have wished for a miscarriage
She wouldn't have to go hungry to nourish its roots

In return the son gave her pain and contraction
Saliva, vomit, and urine
But she wrapped her precious treasure in delicate sarong
Carried him through war wounded soil
Her feet worn and torn from dirt, rocks, hills, and mountains
From twigs, thorns, foliage, and forest

She could have left him for dead
On the side of the road when rebels gave chase
Instead she left behind her culture and tradition
I was the child that she embraced

Seventy-five thousand miles across the ocean
Her feet peeled and bled from sand, salt, reefs, and rivers
From shrubs, marsh, broken glass, and asphalt

A story is told of a prostitute
Bowing at the feet of the Messiah
Weeping and wiping then with the hair of her head
Kissing his feet and anointing them with perfume

Billows of wasted tears flood the room
I am my mother's flesh and blood
Locked behind concrete and bars
Without the chance to wash the feet that carried me
The feet that are now aging with scales dry as the desert
The feet that have endured time and the elements
So I cry these words for all sons and daughters to ponder
Pay homage to your mother!
Her feet are tired.