“It doesn’t matter,” she said, “that your socks don’t match-
“Are You Warm?”
She smiles and kneels beside the chair where preparations are being made to Go Outside
and kisses slender knees half concealed by woolen stockings, one pink striped, the other gray;
gently tickles little toes
hiding in the warmth of her hands.
She tugs the stockings up tightly before rolling down wrinkled pantlegs,
a motherly barrier against bruises and scrapes and sighs
and I suddenly remember my mother kissing me when I was young and preparing
To Go Off
into the cold world with stockings unmatched.