image Claire Keyes
Ode to My New Shoes


Little knowing
they would call out to me
from the rows of boxes
in Marshalls
I passed them by
at first,
noting only
their color
like lime sherbet,
like the first green of spring,
touching
in its lightness
and youth.
Passed them by
and tried others,
sturdy athletic shoes,
white-laced
and with strange, transparent heels,
interior coils
clustered to give bounce
to my step.
Shoes for running,
for aerobics, for
leaps and kicks.
Vigorous shoes.
Vapid shoes.
And others too: orange sandals
I slipped between
my toes, flip-flops
that slap the floor
like ungainly duck-feet.
Better
the cool green softness
I slipped into,
an inset curve
of blue massaging gel
by Dr. Scholl
beneath my heel.
Shoes designed
with whimsy
and grace, straps
of white Velcro criss-crossing
my arch, meeting
shorter straps
lacing my heel.
Shoes so comfortable
I could nap in them
or hike to the post office,
through the grocery store,
my toes spreading
in the delicious suede
and netting
of the uppers.
Green shoes!
For the youth
still nestled
within me, for the girl
who leaped sets of stairs,
for the dancer in me,
swaying,
sashaying.
Granted, I thought twice
about them, yet
couldn't resist
matching green shirt
with green shoes,
green eyes.
I luxuriate in my shoes
show them off
to ladies
clad in green, saying
I have the shoes for you.
Just to hear them laugh
and exclaim
at the beauty
of my shoes.

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