7/9 - Testimony
You have never known a man until he
has knelt at your feet and washed them.
This is not a metaphor, not a Biblical
allusion, but a completely literal testimony.
The first instinct is to stand and offer him
your hand, to ask him a hundred questions,
what possessed him to stoop on the floor,
dirt staining the edges of his ironed slacks,
and you might laugh if he weren't so quiet,
eyes cast down on the task before him,
hand brushing your foot on occasion
as the cloth sweeps over, gently; you
didn't know he could be so gentle, and
that's when you realize this isn't a joke,
a sarcastic suggestion, an attempt at
strange contrition, but pure statement,
of love that does not offer silver-tongued
proclamations or compensation for what
it has received; no, this love was there
before you had the chance to return it,
always wordless, always waiting to kneel
before you for the sake of its own being.