Where it took me: Well, the typical me would write some sentimental poem of loss and longing from this, and maybe when I’m in a more introspective mood I’ll do that. But I wanted to avoid that, wanted to try a different perspective. Which put me in mind of a prompt from a friend last month to write in the voice of something that doesn’t have a voice. Which then put me in mind of a very funny moment in a shoe store, and a promise to her to write a poem from the point of view of those shoes. Promise kept.
From the moment you requested
a size 9 and raised me from the cardboard box,
unwrapped the tissue
like a birthday gift saved for last,
understood the beauty
of my hand-stiched uppers,
exclaimed that my exact shade of butter
and sunshine was just what you had to have
in a shoe,
I knew I would go anywhere with you.
I had it planned.
I was perfect for the office,
for weekend afternoons in the hip parts of town,
even for movies on Saturday nights.
We would do it all, together.
You carried me home,
on your shoe shelf,
to your black flats.
I didn’t know you had a reputation.