She had a closet full of shoes
she wouldn’t throw away,
reminders of the comfy days
when every shoe would fit.
For me, it was a treasure trove
of giant shoes for a four-year-old
to slide across the lino, Ginger
to my grandfather’s Astaire.
I was completely unaware
of the agony of her size three feet,
the bunions that distorted canvas and leather
with each step in every kind of weather.
I tap-danced past the kitchen, pointing toes,
balancing on kitten heels and stilettos,
while she spread hers firmly in sensible slippers,
slashed at the bulges with her pinking scissors.
Kim M. Russell, 2017
This Tuesday I’m hosting dVerse Poets Pub Poetics with a Closet Full of Shoes. Also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform.
It’s the end of August and children across the British Isles will be returning to school next week, spruced up in pristine uniforms and shiny new shoes, which prompted me to search for poetry about footwear by well-known poets. I could only find a few, including: a wonderful shape poem by Shel Silverstein; one about ‘Red Slippers’ by Amy Lowell; In ‘My Shoes’ by Charles Simic; ‘The Broken Sandal’ by Denise Levertov; and ‘New Shoes’ by Honor Moore.
We’re writing a poems, of any length or form, about footwear: stilettos, Wellington boots, hobnail boots, sandals, slippers, ballet shoes… and the first thing I thought about was my grandmother’s shoes.