Infant Feet

Psalm 25:1-10

Infant feet kick and curl,

bejeweled with impossibly miniscule toenails,

creased with wrinkled chub.

She is handed to me

after the first or second cuddle from a stranger

and suddenly the world becomes too much for her.

The infant feet kick and curl,

her face unfolding howls of exhaustion,

and she returns to her mother’s embrace.

Her infant feet

do not know that yesterday

in a country on the other side of the world

seventeen children were shot dead.

Her miniscule toenails

do not know the fear

of sexual assault and harassment,

whose grip slowly begins to loosen,

one important conversation at a time.

Her wrinkled chub

is unaware of the starving men, women and children

sentenced to mental illness

away from Australia’s lucky shores.

All she knows is the safety of embrace.

Sometimes I long for the safety of embrace,

for ignorance, a lack of empathy,

but I am no longer an infant.

My feet kick and curl less often,

and when they do

I question the point of it all.

Not often enough,

I pray.

I pray that infant feet

might never know a world

where children are slaughtered in schools.

I pray that miniscule toenails

might grow into young women

who never experience assault or harassment.

I pray that wrinkled chub

will apologise for the mistakes of our past,

once innocent refugees are safely settled

in this wide, brown land.

Sometimes the world becomes too much for me,

and I pray that my infant feet

might learn to walk God’s paths,

one important conversation at a time.

#infant #lent #poetry

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