Barefoot

When your toes hang out the holes
in your Kmart canvas shoes
it’s much nicer to run barefoot
down the gravel driveway
squish mud puddles (avoid the tadpoles)
between your toes
and race through fresh-cut grass
sink your feet in the soft cool dirt
under the elderly maple–
and learn where not to run, too–
hop around the chestnut burrs
don’t needle your feet before climbing
into the low-spreading branches
and steer clear of the plum altogether
with its forest of three-inch babies
daggering up from the surrounding ground
and bark that will tear off your skin
beware the clover patch and its resident bees
and oh, the same goes for the apple trees
and anywhere the dog has been
(less for sting and more for stink)–
When you can’t afford the store
and you have to stay at home
it’s nicer to forget about your shoes
and run around outdoors