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by Dina Friedman

An abandoned sock
is sadder than divorce

because socks do not knowingly cheat
on their partners. The choice to co-mingle

is forced upon them, perhaps they weep
from the loss of their mate

perhaps all they want is togetherness.
All I want is togetherness

with my socks
and my children

because children are like socks
clinging to your feet in the heat

but seductive in their winter warmth
despite the temptation to leave them

wet, and unrolled in the washing machine.
My teenage daughter thinks socks should be communal

like free love in the California 60s
as if there's still so much abundance to spread around.

Years ago, I was a wild sock child
but this is a secret I will not tell my children.

In the public world, I wear socks that match
and try to detach myself from the ones with holes

though perhaps it is classist
to discriminate against poor socks.

Better to darn them
but that would require training I do not have,

and leads to the question
do socks need therapy

or do they simply need
a mechanism to cope

against absorption of odors
and angry children

I do not know
but socks call to me

in a way that gloves and shirts do not
in a way my children no longer do

despite my begging
and stealing their socks

First published: Gyroscope Review  

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