NaPoWriMo Day 1, 2023: The Feet

P.C. John Lord Peck. Dress and Care of the Feet. New York: Fowler & Wells, 1871

‘And here’s our own prompt (optional, as always) for the first day of Na/GloPoWriMo. They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but they never said you can’t try to write a poem based on a book cover — and that’s your challenge for today! Take a look through Public Domain Review’s article on “The Art of Book Covers.” Some of the featured covers are beautiful. Some are distressing. Some are just plain weird (I’m looking at you, “Mr Sweet Potatoes”). With any luck, one or more of these will catch your fancy, and open your mind to some poetic insights.’

‘Our poetry resource for the day is What Sparks Poetry, a regular feature of Poetry Daily. In each article in the series, a different poet discusses the craft of writing, and provides a prompt.’


I saw him sitting on the pavement cross-legged-
a young chap, not more than twenty;
bearded face, stained clothes, a mop of curly hair
I walked past him
He looked up; our eyes met
'An able body- what a shame to beg,' I thought
He shuffled a bit, the rag over his legs slid
showing off his clubbed feet
or was it two feet on one leg
like two branches separating from the trunk. 
I pulled out a note and gave it to him
Not enough to fix his feet 
Or his fate
But enough to make me feel like I'd done a good deed.


There she was, all dolled up
Not a blemish on her silken skin
Her eyes lined with kohl, 
and her hair like a horse's mane, shiny and smooth.
Her neck soft like velvet
and her lips, cherry-red, small and inviting,
beckoned one to stay.

She wore printed silk, 
it flowed with her every move
as did her manicured fingers when she waved them 
to greet, point, or catch attention
Alas, the soles of her feet, country bumpkins
calloused, wrinkled, and deprived
told another story. 

6 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 1, 2023: The Feet”

  1. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet Avatar

    Fascinating characters are revealed in your lovely poem, Smitha. We can’t save the whole human race, but we can acknowledge the people we encounter. Sometimes just a smile and a hello can make a difference. ❤


  2. Miriam Hurdle Avatar

    Your poem painted vivid imagery of these characters, Smitha! I loved how you revealed the truth of them.


  3. Infinite Living Avatar

    These are so heartbreaking to the end and so beautifully composed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Pragalbha, these are true incidents. The first one is very recent and it had been playing on my mind since some time. The prompt and the book cover I found gave me the opportunity to pen it down. It is extremely sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Infinite Living Avatar

        Oh hmm. It does touch deeply. I am glad you could take the time to write and express.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Yes, the prompt provided me with the opportunity. Thanks, Pragalbha, for writing back. XXX

          Liked by 1 person

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