“My Shoes”

I had a dream last night;

I read a story from the sole of my shoe.

I kept having to turn it around

to decipher the dust-worn words,

scratched in by sand and sharp rock

seeking the soft skin of my feet.

Then, the story just ended

without warning.


The shoe it was written on was

broken before, losing its heel

which I had glued and clamped

firmly back in place.

I ripped it off once more,

searching for the finishing phrase,

but found only dirt

and an old wound.


I have wandered for a while now,

thinking of stories and how to tell them.

My dreams have answered me:

there is a story on the bottom

of each pair of my shoes,

especially the broken ones,

the ones with scuffed soles,

suffering my weight for years.


There is a novel written

in scratches on every one,

better than anything I ever penned,

but it is not finished.

It runs out just before the heel

and opening the past does not help.

The story-scratch gives my shoes grip,

but they cannot complete the tale alone.


The dream did not tell me

how to finish the story,

but I think it may be with a smile,

in the knowledge that shoes

are made to carry us forward.

The more broken they are,

the more comfortable the walk,

the better they fit the souls of our feet.

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