The Ears of My Toes

Posted on 13 February 2010

This morning, my deaf brother
Pokes me on the shoulder.
When I wake he mouths:

The room is filled
With the scent of baking bread
And the slant of morning light
Scraping through the open window.

Outside the window, a man
Jack-hammers the sidewalk.
Inside the bread, cumin
And roasted green chilies
Harmonize like the Tao.

Last night, after my brother arrived,
Thunder shook the house like a gong
And rain played timpani on the roof;

My brother stood grinning
Eyes shut, fingers splayed
Daddy Long-legs style
Along the wall.

How could I have drifted off to sleep?

And now, in the morning light
My naked feet—
Cool against the knotted grain
Of the plank floor—
Listen as the jack-hammer’s music
Floods into the ears
Of my toes.

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