Barefoot Blues

I walked a mile today in my own shoes

Something I hadn’t done in far too long

For years I’d gone bafefoot, quite content,

Ambling about on whichever path felt best

Until one day I glimpsed somewhere new but too far & too jagged for barefoot alone

At the base of this path lay piles of shoes

Scattered about, pointing in different ways

I snagged the ones closest, not even checking to see if they matched

For the only thing I noticed was that these shoes both pointed the direction I was curious to go

These would do just fine for a quick trip

Satisfied & smug I headed straight ahead

The first few steps felt funny for my left boot was much heavier than my right slipper

So I leaned to the right, swung with my left, and kept my eyes trained three steps ahead

Soon the blisters started & my back began to ache and I knew it was time to stop

And stop I did, sitting straight down on the spot, looking behind me as I rested mine.

Too far to turn back, too sore to go on, I took off my borrowed shoes and considered heaving them far out of sight

Still too worn out to fling the boot, I grabbed the slipper and was about to set it free when a bright shiny blue caught my eye!

Wedged between two rocks, about half a heel blister away, was a scuffed white sneaker with a beautifully bright blue tongue.

Renewed with an idiotic sense of purpose, I crammed my feet back into their holding cells with a promise of better accommodations to come, and minced towards the blue tongue.

I grew giddy the closer I got. Would it be a left, a right? Maybe an old sock would be lying nearby?

I sat down on the biggest rock, reached around the side, searching for the blue tongue. My fingers closed on the silky plush & I yanked it towards me.

It wouldn’t budge. A near frantic laugh escaped me & I jumped at the sound. With a deep breath I leaned forward again, but pulled up on the tongue instead.

My reward was not one beautiful blue tongue, but two. Dangling from the strings of the right was the matching left companion, twisting back & forth by their knotty union.

—-January 2019

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