Christina Coates

Pilgrimage

You should walk
white roads with many stones –
some get into your shoes.
Sit by the side of the road
and see the butter-coloured flowers.

Walking is slow
but you should sometimes
stop and sit
where the edge of the world is
and be kind to your feet.

Feet are like platforms
you stand and your ankles are
forgotten, cramped.
They take you through the world.
Before you know kindness, look at your feet.

Look at the feet
of someone coming by.
See how small they are.
What can you tell? Kindness is taking
the stones out of someone else’s shoes.

Noticing another’s feet,
feeling compassion for those feet,
pulling the hot socks off,
holding the clammy foot –
this is human kindness.

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