Who will match these reds and blues, fold over
ribbed pairings, and cotton blends? My hands, curled
fingers, tired, resist wading through that box
of socks. Each week the laundry leaves one, two,
ten single socks soft and limp, sputtering
loose stitch, worn toes and heel, tales of woodchips
and sandbox, puddles and play. In that box,
piled together, turning over each other,
the boys, their bare feet stencils in thick white,
pilled and tinged a slight gray, striped and stained, soaked
in lavender, lie mismatched in disheveled rainbow.
…I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.
-from Ode to My Socks, Pablo Neruda