The white socks were turning tan
from being horribly abused every day
and washed with a bar of soap
every night for months. I laid them
across the heating vent in the winter
and over the shower curtain rod
the rest of the time. They rarely dried
completely, made my feet and shoes
smell like mildew, and finally got
too many holes in the heels and toes.
I threw them out, panicked,
put on my shoes and walked
to Bargain City where I opened
a pack of socks, put three pairs on,
painfully crammed my feet into my shoes
and walked out. I was not proud
of my first theft, but I had no money,
no socks and no magic beans to grow any.
They lasted the rest of the school year,
then I gave them
to my brother.