My Feet on the Wall of the Tub

Splendid flippers,
if only they were webbed.
I used to say they were like
pounded veal cutlets,
flat as frying pans after
the weight of two children
and all of it, all of it.
Impossibly wide.

I think of my mother’s feet,
tiny double-A’s, N for narrow,
which mine once were, too.
What a division between us,

small but important, when
mine exceeded their limits,
became unlike hers.

Now, they are a solid medium.
B.

If you traced around them
and drew a pair of shoes to fit,
they’d never look like shoes —
except maybe the kind that
look like rubber feet.

It’s as if they’re the base
of a statue. It’s as if I’m
the mother Sea Monkey
in the ads, with flippers
and a crown of flesh —

as if, in having these children,
I evolved backwards, became
some briny new queen.

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