A Shoe Poem
I’ve signed up for a creative writing class this semester, which means from time to time you’ll be seeing random posts of fiction and poetry here on the site. Of course if it’s anything really good then you won’t see it at all so I can sell it to the highest bidder.
This piece I feel pretty safe about sharing considering that it’s a) poetry and b) probably not very good from a professional standard. It’s the product of a writing exercise, where you must write a poem about something in your closet and relate it to relationships. Here is my result, I hope you enjoy it.
Black Dress Shoes
In the closet sits my black dress shoes
Gathering dust. Unused,
Unless the need arrives for respectability.
Black with a shine like a laminated beetle.
The toes, instead of coming to an elegant point,
Spread like a square head shovel
Broader at the toe than at the heel.
That’s what I said when my mother put them down on the cluttered kitchen table years ago
Shoes that Frankenstein’s monster would wear to his famous wedding, I told her.
My shoes now. I disliked them immediately.
Now they have my respect
The respect of old rivals who have grown comfortable in their rivalry.
I have danced in them at spring formals,
Blocky toes fitting nicely against the cheackerboard dance floor,
Colored lights, sweat, and sound.
I carried my grandfather to the truck in them,
(The small truck the funeral director had hid behind a clean stone wall,
A truck stained with cut grass, chipped paint,
A working truck)
And slid him into its small, square, black opening.
Square and black as my shoes.
The truck took him to another hole.
I did not see it.
My shoes took me back to my family instead.
These shoes were there for long debates
Listened to while golden, sticky sunlight streamed through the hotel conference room windows.
I debated too, and sometimes won.
I do not know if they noticed my shoes.
They sit tucked away now.
I have worn through a dozen other shoes since they walked into my life,
But these shoes show little sign of wear.
Respectable shoes. Uncomfortable shoes.