I knew my hair would grey.
I had heard of age spots.
I knew my hands would age
—the veins would become more pronounced
and the joints would enlarge producing that gnarled look.
But, like pregnancy, aging seems to be an all-over-body experience,
and my feet betray my age to my surprise.
As a child and young woman, I never gave my feet much attention,
other than nail polish.
Yet, as a middle-aged woman my feet show age.
My heels, in particular, show it.
The skin is dry and hard. It is flecked with white dead skin.
There are cracks in the tough, hard skin.
My feet demand consistent work to tame the flaking dry skin and cracks.
Sometimes, I have that time and dedication, and other times I don’t--
and my feet look old.
Perhaps more difficult to me is that
the fat pads on the bottom of my feet have thinned,
and the beautiful, elegant shoes with which I have encased my feet
I often cannot wear for long;
I am not as vain as Cinderella,
but the idea wearing “comfortable” shoes is a blow.
Never a stiletto-heel wearer, I still enjoyed the pumps that
accessorized both my feet and every outfit with an added flair.
In aging, I am betrayed by my own feet.
Kathleen Murphey teaches English Department courses at Community College of Philadelphia. In her ideal world, people would read a wide variety of literature to help them sympathize and empathize with all kinds of different people and to empower them to work toward a world in which all human beings are treated with courtesy, tolerance, respect, and dignity. In addition to teaching and writing, she is the mother of three lovely girls for whom she wishes a better, kinder, and more socially just world.