No subject too inconsequential …
Viz, the matter of single socks.
Where do they go, those phantom partners,
those little paradigms of loss?
Cupboards and drawers fill up with them.
Like us they enter the machine
by twos as into Noah's hold —
but only one emerges clean.
The other somehow disappears
and yet the drain is rarely blocked.
They leave no trace. It must be life,
this little metaphor of socks.
But surely some must reach the line
and swing there in the doubtful wind?
We come at dusk like cheerful peasants
gathering the harvest in.
Mystery and irritation
stain the early evening air.
Why should socks come back as odd
when morning sent them out in pairs?
Does the law of entropy
declare we need the one leg only,
or flash our ankles' separate shades?
Each sock's a widow, growing lonely.
With each day slipping from our grasp
a jealous god will not be mocked.
He speaks to us in parables —
week by week and sock by sock.