At first it is the rocking, the simple soothing and repeated
step back, front, back that calms thought, lulls muscles
into symbiosis with the rumbling machine, her
in and out whir across contrasting swaths of carpet
approximating steady breathing.
Then, there is the picking up and moving, motion performed,
performed again, the kneeling, the standing, the kneeling,
realization: post-Katrina replacements, donations
have left you with embarrassments of riches, thirty-two
pairs of shoes.
Finally, bare feet tell the tale. With receptacle emptied,
warm cord wound back to home, you take confident steps
across now-silent sanctuary, floor cleared of pebbles, toes
newly aware of the myriad surfaces of raked rug, arches
fearless in their nakedness.