Getting On My Nerves

Longing this morning 
to trade back my boots
for the soft-sole shoes
I surrendered to get them.
I can’t feel the ground
when I walk in these. 
Doctors try to tell me it’s
neuropathy from my diabetes.
They’re half right, I suspect;
certainly some shiny whiteness
is to blame and whether it’s sugar
or culture it’s killing me dead
from the feeling parts up
to the thinking parts. If I still had
ancestors to ask about it
I would but they’re gone and
never knew me anyway. Maybe
it’s for the best that I’m numb
and becoming more numb the older I get;
I still want to trade these hard boots
for the moccasins I had as a kid, 
the moccasins everyone said
I should trade for the boots I wear now — 
good boots made to hold you
separate from and untouched by the earth,
the way it is these days;
even when you are put into that earth
they put you in a box
and that box goes into another box.
How is it right that even when I’m dead
I’ll have to lie forever in that tiny space?
Colonized in death as in life,
forbidden the right to return
to our own soil. It’s why I long to trade my boots
for moccasins and walk away
to find my own resting place somewhere;
if my feet burn the whole way there, at least
the pain will be of my choosing.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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