Poems by Susan Terris

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Shoe Fitting X-Ray Device

by Susan Terris

From Canary Fall 2012

Susan grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River but now lives near Baker Beach at the southwest edge of San Francisco Bay.

Step up here, little lady, they said, and wiggle
your toes
. Agreeable, I stood, sucking on
my u-stemmed red Saf-T-Pop, looking through
fluorscopic light at the shadows of my foot bones
moving inside the outlines of new Mary Janes.
While my brother and baby sister were fitted
for lace-up Stride Rites, I continued to stand
there staring down.

          The toe bones connected to
the foot bones—a song yet something else, too.
Above them, more unseen bones, held in by
a shrug of skin. No whispers then of radiation,
just endless time to ponder how easily flesh could
disappear—a glimpse of mortality, sweetened by
a lollipop, but there for me to ponder. What was
the meaning of articulation or of white bones?

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