Eighty Mismatched Socks

No, eighty unmatched socks,
overflowing a basket that lives
in the perfect bedroom,
in the perfect house,

on the perfect street,
of the perfect American city
in a very imperfect country
on the day of a very important election.

In The Beginning of the world of socks
each pair lay cheek to cheek, wedded with a paper ring;
the salesgirl taps the counter top of polished glass
and you decide which pairs you wish to buy –

Cheek to cheek and heel to heel
color to color, size to size, stripes, plaids,
they all come home –either today,
some weeks ago, some years from now.

What are the expectations of these pairs?
Be reborn to a grand waltz or a rainy hike?

The plastic T that holds socks close
gets snipped away for the two
separate feet that need them.
Every day a drawer is opened and a choice is made.

One by one each sock is plunged
in the darkness of a shoe.
But all could still be well
if, when the socks are sent to drown,

be giddied in thrashing soap and space-age spin,
grabbed and tossed to dry in wool-removing heat,

if, when at last dry socks emerge
they find each other, heel to heel, paired,
rolled in reunion in a drawer in a perfect bedroom,
in a perfect house, on a perfect street,

of an imperfect country
on the day of an important election.

They never find one another again.