I know there is a thing about women and shoes,
but I seem to be missing the gene.
So when I talk about footwear, it has to be
What I wear: Crocs, for slipping on and off
when I walk a dog, or calf-high Muck Boots
for going out to the barn to muck a stall
or give the horses carrots.
I own one pair of runners at a time,
wide, like a flat-bottomed boat,
which slip and slide.
I replace them every several years
when the soles have worn off.
My daughter did not get her sense
of style from me. She wears:
combat boots for Kicking Serious Ass,
strappy silver Mary Janes, for when she's Feelin' It,
platform heels to fitness shoes,
and all that lies between.
I feel like the frizzy-haired Witch Down the Lane.
I cackle a little louder at such times:
Yesterday I met an old hippy over in Coombs.
With twinkling eyes, we recognized each other;
(it must have been our long and frizzy hair.)
He told me he was in Haight-Ashbury Back In the Day,
that he wore thigh-high leather boots
in which he promenaded.
Back in the day, I lived one block down
from the gorgeous hippies on Fourth Avenue,
existing in a parallel polyester lifestyle,
pushing a buggy full of babies,
inside the straitjacket of a conventional marriage
in which I didn't fit,
not one little bit.
I had just missed that Freedom Bus
by fifty seconds.
My big unweildy free spirit
kept bumping up against its confines
till the madwoman finally escaped from her prison
and was no longer mad.
Then I pushed my buggy of giggling babies
down the hill, hippety-hopping,
laughing and leaping,
heading us all to
a happier life.
My spirit never tried
to stuff itself back into
that little box again.
The only red shoes that ever spoke to me
were Dorothy's, on that journey she made
away from and back to herself,
finding the power she had always had inside her.
I have worn the soles off a lot of running shoes
this lifetime, walking through some of
the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
All I ever needed was a pair that fit me,
that would carry me into the wilderness I love.
How many pairs do I have left?
There's no way to tell. But one thing I know:
when music from those years calls to my spirit,
I can still kick them off, and dance a lick or two
across my empty room.
for Sarah at dVerse: Seeing Red