Gold-Toed Socks

Moving in Middle School turns the world upside down.

Home was somewhere north of here now. I wore my socks like I did then. To the knee. Hiding my shins. Shielding the skin from the cold that wasn’t there anymore.

I miss the sunlight on the cove. The rain, falling across the water, like a sheet or wall pummeling against the glassy stillness.

My socks, ribbed elastic, security blankets, white, with yellow toes hugged by the penny loafers too tight for my ballet arch.

I miss the scuffed floors of my ballet class. I miss the mirrors flooded with black leotards, pink tights, and pointed slippers. My hair slicked back and pulled tight, wrapped in a bun and doused in hair spray.

My socks, good to skid on, when dancing on the dead coral floors with Meg, Dani, and Mom.I miss the swamp I lost a shoe in once. The smell of some fresh muck and brackish water, settling in my skin, seeping through that fabric, mud masks, and lightning bugs.

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