I never would have thought that I could have gotten four poems from footwear. Seriously, my first thought at 2 in the morning when the prompt came out was, “Heels. I can write about my love of heels.” Well you get two heels poems and two more shoe poems as well. I was reading three of these off to Mel this morning and I loved her insight and laughter.
I have to say though that I was holding back tears with Flip Flop Childhood. How can you not get weepy and sentimental about your first crush when you were a little girl? I was five. I was in love with a neighbor boy and it was horrible and awful and wonderful and there were arguments and tears… mostly because I kissed him on the cheek and oh, the terror of it for him. Even to this day, thinking about him brings a fondness and melancholy moment. Ah childhood.
The rest are true, with a touch of exaggeration. Just a very slight touch. Enjoy.
In Heels I Know My Limitations
Tap tap tapping down the street
I go in heels too tall
click click clacking on pavement
I’m a lady, I’m a girl
And the heels are my badge
They are my license to be
feminine and helpless
though I can almost run better in heels
than in my running shoes
Running on my toes, gazelle-like,
worrying about placement and pebbles
that might trip me up;
In running shoes I think I can make it
till I twist my ankle for being cocky and brave
In heels I know my limitations
Tennis shoes make me arrogant.
My mother wore heels during both her pregnancies
In the eighties of stiletto heels and big shoulder pads
and bold colors.
She had dainty feet — size four and a half.
Cool green snakeskin kitten-esque things
that I said I would wear when I was older and a lady.
My feet are seven and a half.
I was never able to indulge in
her suede forest green pumps.
It makes me sad to see them go
to the second hand shops;
Because those heels gave my mother bunions.
I didn’t inherit the heels,
but I’m inheriting the bunions.
Flip-flop Childhood (for CMM)
Flipflops and popsicles
and skinned knees and chalk
and bike rides and summer
roll together into my childhood
when summer heat melted rubber
and flip flops protected against
burning sidewalks from his house
to my green lawn and cool garage
where the cars were
or the blocks, and teeter totter
and kisses to cry over
and records to laugh over
before I moved, before he
grew up and moved and
before we were too old
to realize that we didn’t
really get each other, but
for those five years
I was in love with
a boy who was younger than me
The Hiking Boots of My Life
The hiking boots that take me up
the granite rocks where my
sister and I play, making
pine cone soup with pine needle
noodles on the side with a
lichen salad and a sand
and gravel dressing.
The hiking boots that grip the
creek stones as I hope across the
rocks, staying dry till they hit
an algae patch and my foot
plunges into mountain water.
The hiking boots that sit on
the bank as we wade into
the creek sliding on rocks
the water so cold and fresh.
The boots sit there, impossible to
get on, after wet feet try to tug
on socks, then the snug boots.
The hiking boots that made me
love boots more than tennis shoes
and sandals, sturdy and strong
faithfully taking me from there
to here. From eight to much more
I still wear hiking boots.