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By Kimberly Blaeser

We all have the same little bones in our foot
twenty-six with funny names like navicular.
Together they build something strong—
our foot arch a pyramid holding us up.
The bones don’t get casts when they break.
We tape them—one phalange to its neighbor for support.
(Other things like sorrow work that way, too—
find healing in the leaning, the closeness.)
Our feet have one quarter of all the bones in our body.
Maybe we should give more honor to feet
and to all those tiny but blessed cogs in the world—
communities, the forgotten architecture of friendship.

Illustration by Neebinnaukzhik Southall of brown rabbits in clothes in a circle around a bunny in the middle drumming
Illustration by Neebinnaukzhik Southall

Source: Poetry (March 2021)

  • Living
  • Relationships
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Kimberly Blaeser
Poet, critic, essayist, and fiction writer Kimberly Blaeser was raised on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota by parents of Anishinaabe and German descent. She is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe. Blaeser worked as a journalist before earning her PhD at the University of Notre Dame. In 1991, as a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Blaeser co-founded the multicultural writers’ organization Word Warriors. She lives with her family in rural Wisconsin. In 2017 she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin. Blaeser’s poems offer intimate glimpses into the lives of her subjects through loose, conversational portraits of Native American life and culture. See More By This Poet

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