Your Shoes

I can’t imagine
how you can stand
in those shoes,
how you can claim
that they fit
and spit shine them
as if they were
worthy of wearing.

I can’t imagine
even though I’ve been
attempting for years
to try them on,
thinking perhaps if I
squeezed my feet in them
I’d understand
how you could turn your back,
how you can walk away proud
or even stand up straight
in your shoes
after you stomped
so hard on my life
and my heart
you nearly crushed me.

I can’t imagine
what story you’ve told
about the leather
they’re made of,
and those laces you’ve tied;
a story you’ve sold to yourself
and any one else who
you feared might
get close enough
to notice how deeply
they’re scuffed.

I see how it is now,
those soles and your soul
have no tread
have nothing to stand on.
You cannot move forward
as long as they’re on your feet
without skidding
and crashing to the ground
in the slightest of stormy weather.

I see how it is now,
as long as that road
was kind to your shoes
you traveled beside me.
But you were not walking with me
and never once did you carry me.
You tripped, then you hid,
and high-tailed a run
when your scrapes and your holes
reflected back from my eyes.

Such a fool I was
but I see how it is now,
it isn’t about where you walked,
it’s about who you are.
You believe that your shoes
are the only shoes,
and because they fit you,
you choose to believe
they are rightly sized to perfection.

I see how it is
now that I’ve tried on your shoes
so many times.
You simply could not bear the pain
of changing them
because you’d have to face
how they’ve squeezed you
and blistered my life.

And you can not begin to consider
trying on mine.

Because if you tried on mine
and looked back at yours
you would see no path you could tread
that would ever find
your spit-shined, laced up
soul-less leather shoes
acceptable for taking
a single step in your own direction.

~ cj 2013.03.20

The painting is A Pair of Shoes, created by Vincent Van Gogh in 1886.

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6 Responses to Your Shoes

  1. Steve says:

    Interesting poem CJ. Sometimes I read your poems 2 or 3 times to try & understand where your coming from or where your heading in your shoes.

    • cjromb says:

      I just changed it some Steve…once I got a little clearer where I was heading, too. 🙂

      Thx for always reading and letting me know you did.

  2. Morine says:

    I really like the way you see things, CJ, and that you can reflect and articulate your feelings so clearly and beautifully.

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