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Why Children Go Barefoot
Carol Amato


To feel the warmth of dark earth;
at night standing very still to feel
the vibrations of tunneling worms;
especially the chilled black mud
at low tide that oozes deliciously
between their toes.

their feet are never cold
even on un-rugged kitchen tiles
cold as ice in winter
and especially not while escaping
out the then-slammed screen door
into the morningís dewy grass.
Especially not there.

Nor do they heed warnings
about splinters
poison ivy
or the possibility of dog-doo.

In addition
they are generally impervious to cold
refusing jackets and sweaters
or leaving them open
as we try to project our shivering on them.

well-shod in all seasons,
except while swimming;
never having been allowed
in our rigid-ruled stony pasts
to be cold

so deprived
of the touching wind on skin
alive with goose-bumps
especially spontaneous joy
and surely, the wonder of

© by Carol Amato.
Used here with the authorís permission.

Carol Amato says poetry has allowed her to assume many lives—to date, a much-longed-for job as a waitress, a slightly mean-spirited child, an escape artist seeking to find herself, an adventurer soaring with raptors, and more. Carol’s realities include being a language-learning specialist, a natural science educator, and the author of 11 books for Barron’s Educational Series and Backyard Pets, Nature Activities Close to Home, published by John Wiley & Sons. Carol, who lives in Boston and Cape Cod, considers herself fortunate to have both an active imagination and enough reality to survive.


Post New Comment:
Veronica welch:
I love it!! Brings back so many memories of growing up in the country!!!
Posted 07/08/2022 10:39 AM
Wilda Morris:
What interesting ideas! Now I hope Carol will write another poem explaining why my grandsons like to go outside in stockings but no shoes!
Posted 07/08/2022 10:01 AM
Lori Levy:
Great! Exactly the way it is for kids.
Posted 07/08/2022 09:09 AM
I like the thought of "never having been allowed to be cold" as if it is a privilege to experience discomfort. It is!
Posted 07/08/2022 09:05 AM
Larry Schug:
Bare feet are our natural state, evolved to meet all conditions. Shoes, bah, where did they ever get us? I love poems that open my mind to strange thoughts as does this poem. I think I'll kick off my tennies and go walk in the dewy grass and clover.
Posted 07/08/2022 08:17 AM

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