The foot we pay it no mind.
We put it down, we pick it up.
Never a thought for toes,
Digits to some, phalanges to expert
in blue, doing nothing
on their own: five metatarsals join
to five phalanges, attached to (tongue-twisting-
bones) cuneiforms and scaphoids, holding
to the tarsus and talus and calacanaeus.
Strange syllables till now I never uttered--
names designating bones—yet, they hold me
upright, enable moving, reaching of desire.
I rely on wondrous parts I did not even know.
Yet it is not big digits bothering me, not
palpable metatarsals, the pinkies Mother pulled
as she chanted “Little Piggy.” No, it is not they
crucifying my hiking dreams (for others, golfing, ballet).
It is a pea-sized bone. Itty bitty bone.
Secreted within a tendon, its pulley—
now I full know what lies beneath
my big toe, how it’s permitted
my rising on balls of my feet
or launches forward—all
un-lauded. Now it rebells.
The sesamoid—I’ve paid it no mind
till it yelled No! Forget the step and roll
up, moving forward. Limp lest it stab & pierce.
Foot bones have carried this mindless soul
onward fifty years, wanting thanks. All
credit I gave to sinews, muscles, heart,
legs propelled by my strong will.
Now the sesamoid claims its part.