Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And a poem about shoes...

I wrote this poem in 2010 and posted it once before.  In light of my recent shoe obsession and the fact that April is National Poetry Month, I repeat it here.

Shopping for School Shoes

From the parking lot of Abernathy's--
where Dad waits, listening to the Red Sox,
playing ersatz head coach and umpire both
shouting over the static of the car radio--
Mom and I walk through the back door,
right into the shoe department
with its unctuous wooden panels
and little altars lined with footwear,
the air thick with the incense of leather.

Mr. Adams, priest-like in his dark suit,
cloud-white shirt and shiny black shoes,
greets us, solemnly nodding his head.
Quietly I sit beside my mother.
The worn seat gives a soft whoosh
and the chrome edge cools my shin.
My yearning eyes take in penny loafers,
white Keds sneakers, and -- Oh --
buttery soft slip-ons with ribbon bows.

A fetish chosen, I bow my head in prayer...
"Thou shalt not put false gods before me."
On this, Mother and Mr. Adams agree.
In stocking feet, I step on the metal trap.
My size noted, boxes appear in a stack--
saddle shoes, oxfords, sturdy maryjanes--
my silent pleas effectively ignored.
Other kids will get to wear the pretties;
I take the sacrament of practical shoes.


  1. I love it. I especially like the image of the altar. I myself had the sacrament of the cheapest shoes growing up.

  2. Nice ... I esp. like the "little altars lined with footwear."

  3. A wonderful poem, and so evocative of those olden days when we were young and shopping for school shoes. One pair, practical, made to last, and with room to grow.

  4. Well done. Your words put me right into that long forgotten chair with eyes wide.

  5. "little altars lined with footwear" I love it, Olga. You put us right there, inside the child and the shop. Me, I always craved wingtips....;)

  6. Such a cute poem! Reminds me of my youth! In high school, we had a uniform shoe -- UGLY!!! I still remember the stares and smirks when my friends and I boarded the El in those awful shoes! Thanks for the memory.

  7. OH how I can relate to this sweet poem. I loved that you shared it with us. I have to admit that it brought back lot's of memories to me and of my mother.

  8. You sure took me back, too! I went to Catholic School and anything besides saddle shoes was forbidden! I think it broke me. Shoes are no longer a big deal to me.

  9. Gosh! That's one thing about Hawaii. I live in sneakers or slippers. Sheesh!


I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.