Memoir of Shoes

This box packed with shoes
is the history of my mother’s feet.
Will these soles continue to tell her story
after this container is hauled away?
Especially this pair of black pumps
she wore to church.
The throat of one has a tiny scar.
Dye can conceal the bruised place,
but what of her memoir?
Can they voice how her heels rubbed
against the quarters, pressed down
the hard edges of single motherhood?
How can they, without a tongue?

Will the new owners feel the pen of her feet?
Decipher a scribbled Sunday morning
filled with passion and perspiration?
Survive the heated hands of a West Texas July
pressed against church pews and walls?
Hear the water of her soprano voice
splash Amazing Grace over the sanctuary?

Listen to the congregation wave their fans,
pray for the gospel of a cool breeze,
as the choruses of God’s mercy leak out
the raised windows?

 

This poem also appears in Loretta Diane Walker’s book In This House published by Bluelight Press.

 

About the Poet:
Loretta Diane Walker won the 2016 Phyllis Wheatley Book Award for poetry, for her collection, In This House. She is a five time Pushcart nominee. She has published three collections of poetry. Her manuscript Word Ghetto won the 2011 Bluelight Press Book Award. She teaches music in Odessa, Texas.  Loretta received a BME from Texas Tech University and earned a MA from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

 

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