Toes of my Childhood

My feet have always loved
The tickle of fresh spring grass
Those first warm days when kids

Were allowed to run barefoot
Splashing through puddles
After a summer dowpour.

Exploring a muddy spot in the lawn
Wriggling through a newly tilled garden
Making crazy foot-prints on hot
Cement sidewalks..

Those were the days when I was proud
Of my webbed toes. No one else in our
Neighborhood had that distinction.

It was the only thing, I felt that
Gave me any kind of importance.
And it was lost when the time came
To put on our shoes.