the wax paper

My Own Ode to My Own Socks

That I had to live this long

before being blessed with hand-knit socks


testifies to the cyclical

appeal of needlework. Two 


generations of women sewed

most of my clothes but didn’t have time


or patience to negotiate

with double-pointed #2s around the tricky


heel.  I don’t either.

No matter—these blue beauties


house a complicated structure

of tendon, callus and bone


in tropical waters

where flecks of foam


caress sandbars, in summer

skies scudding over wheat fields.


The best gifts feel undeserved,

expose a raw nerve ending


of humility. I praise the soft

benediction a friend wove into each


stitch.  I praise the gift

a friend of many years


continues to be.  I praise her

hands, holding my feet.  

Candace Black’s poetry manuscript Whereabouts won the 2015 Violet Reed Haas Award and will be published by Snake Nation Press in early 2017.