The Foot-Washing by A. R. Ammons 1926-2001

Washing Feet by Watanabe Sadao, 1962, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Now you have come,
the roads
humbling your feet with dust;

I will wash your feet
with springwater
and silver care:

the odor of your feet
is newly earthen,
honeysuckled

bloodwork in blue
raisures over the white
skinny anklebone

if I have wronged you
cleanse me with the falling
water of forgiveness

And woman, your flat feet
yellow, gray with dust,
your orphaned udders flat,

lift your dress
up to your knees
and I will wash your feet:

feel the serenity
cool as cool springwater
and hard to find

if I have failed to know
the grief in your gone time,
forgive me wakened now.

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