Text of the Poem

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Maru Mori brought me a pair of socks knitted with her own shepherd's hands, two socks soft as rabbits. I slipped my feet into them as if into jewel cases woven with threads of dusk and sheep's wool.

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Audacious socks, my feet became two woolen fish two long gangly sharks of lapis blue shot with a golden thread, two mammoth blackbirds, two cannons, thus honored were my feet honored by these celestial socks. They were so beautiful that for the first time my feet seemed unacceptable to me, two tired old fire fighters not worthy of the woven fire, of those luminous socks.

Nonetheless I resisted the strong temptation to save them the way schoolboys bottle fireflies, the way scholars hoard sacred documents. I resisted the wild impulse to place them in a cage of gold and daily feed them birdseed and rosy melon flesh. Like explorers who in the forest surrender a deer to the spit and eat it with remorse, I stuck out my feet and pulled on the handsome socks, and then my shoes.

So this is the moral of my ode: twice beautiful is beauty and what is good doubly good when it is a case of two woolen socks in wintertime.

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