They were sitting on the windowsill

in the old house.

Honey colored, rather battered,

worn-down heels.

Soft, misshapen.

One lace skipping an eyehole.

Still she remembered them as comfortable

which was what she now needed in a shoe.

A day or two they would still serve her

to walk along the gravel country road,

the cobblestones in town.

Now why, she asked herself,

as she put them in her bag,

had she discarded them.

And then she realized

the sole was coming off.

Years ago

it had started to part ways

with its body.

She had glued them back together,

weighted down with her heaviest books,

volumes 1 and 3 of an encyclopedia,

a metaphor perhaps of her soul

weighed down with the knowledge

accumulated in her 70 odd years.

Her son, an archaeologist, was adamant.

If things have meaning, keep them.

So even though these beat-up shoes

were now beyond repair

they would go into the closet,

the closet of forgotten things.

Till one day when her soul and body

had also gone their separate ways,

someone, in cleaning out that closet,

would discover a useless pair of shoes,

perhaps wonder for a moment

why they were there,

then shrug and toss them out,

consigning them to memory.

4 thoughts on “Shoes

  1. How much do I love this? Let me try to count the ways.

    Some of my favorite adjectives are here: Soft, old, honey-colored, comfortable. And then, of course, my favorite image — one that I learned from you and will never forget—that of the dimenticatoio, “the closet of forgotten things.”


  2. This is really wonderful! Beautifully written with a lovely sense of quiet resignation and acceptance. One of your best. This will not be in my closet of forgotten things, but will be long remembered. Hugs James3


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