Diana M. Raab


My feet remind me
of the chaos in my life
bunions meeting in midline

and second toes arched toward
the heavens. Your shoes
are supposed to announce

your character, but no one
talk of what lies
beneath the leather
which embraces the appendages.

You ask me to remove my shoes
for the beach walk and I turn to you
and say I do not show my feet
to anyone until I know them

for a lifetime. It is a rule
I have adhered to—my shyness
extends to this floor,

a lack of confidence shattered
by the loss of a grandmother
at the hand of a pill bottle

found on a cracked side table
littered with deep-seated pain,
similar to the kind I feel

in my feet, gentle reminders
of the earths I have walked
and the wounds I have carried

but always to remember
the slice of life which brings me joy.

Your smile.


Diana M. Raab is an award-winning memoirist, poet, blogger, editor and author of eight books. She teaches journaling and writing for healing across the country. She is widely published in national trade and literary magazines. She has four poetry collections: Listening to Africa, Dear Anaïs: My Life in Poems for You, winner of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Award and Reader Views Annual Award for Poetry, My Muse Undresses Me and The Guilt Gene.