I am always
studying shoes –
not just searching
for what might work
for me –
they’re more telling
than clothes.
The Indian woman
next to me in well
worn loafer-type pumps
with high heels,
and green socks.
The toes are scuffed,
I would be uncomfortable
with that.
I rarely polish shoes,
but would if need be.
I have a basket
of polish in a variety
of colors.
For thirty years
I had navy polish,
the paste kind,
though I have only owned
one pair of blue shoes,
blue is not a color
I wear.
Finally, I put it
in hazardous waste,
later I got sentimental
and took it out.
I am not a hoarder
at all, but after
something is in
your life for decades
it pretty much
has to stay.
I’m not sure where
the blue polish is now,
since I haven’t
needed it.
I bought a quick-
touch-up shoe
sponge that is
completely futile,
worn off by the time
you cross the room.
My father shined
his shoes with paste
and a vigorous brush,
shoes held taut
with trees.
shoes he wore for
decades, re-soled,
in perfect condition
at his death.
My husband’s very
he wears cheap
canvas shoes
made in China
and sold at discount
stores for eight bucks.
Wino shoes they’re
called, listed as
that on the cash
register tape.
He will not wear
a cow,
although he’ll eat one.
I wish he would
wear real shoes,
shoes I could admire,
like the olive ones
an old boyfriend wore,
goose-turd green
he called them,
I knew what
I was in for
before my husband
ever asked
me out,
I had noticed
his shoes.
And like other
things, back then
I thought
they were okay.