Odd Shoe


Odd Shoe

And then there is the loneness of the odd shoe atilt
in the closet; a singleton,
it can’t even manage “akimbo.”
Sloped sides speak
of particular toes; they stood, stepped, sweat,
swanked, sidled, made
their mark.  But where now
is my fellow? the shoe pleads (whether
or not tongued, pumping dust
for some clear lead.)

And you, whose soul is also scuffed
but whole, insist that the shoe
still fits, insist on
wearing it, though
you limp, clump clump, even with
the trial, though even that you fear
may hear.


Draft draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night hosted by Tony Maude.  Wanted to join in the fun.  You should too.  (Sorry if you’ve seen drawing before.) 

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17 Comments on “Odd Shoe”

  1. claudia Says:

    smiles..from the talking shoe to the scuffed soul… i like… some shoes just don’t fit any more when we find them again… made me think of things in life that i thought i couldn’t live without but once you come across them after some years, they just don’t fit in any more..and then, put them on again? or rather go barefoot..?

  2. Suzy Says:

    Nice – reminded me that once we’ve outgrown something or when something no longer serves us, we need to let it go otherwise it hangs around our soul and weighs us down. Dropping by from dVerse

  3. Pamela Says:

    Nice use of metaphor here, Karin.I couldn’t help but be reminded of a German Shepard I once had who ran off into the woods with one of my shoes, and I never found it. I really liked those shoes too. How are things with you? I hope well.


  4. Poet Laundry Says:

    ‘insist on
    wearing it, though
    you limp, clump clump,’

    Ain’t that the truth? I too like this use of metaphor. Very cool approach.

  5. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Interestingly, “Akimbo” in the gaming world is used to describe “wielding of two weapons”, but here, it is ballet, of course — wholly different sort of weaponry.

    I’ve seen the odd sock, but not the odd shoe — that is particularly lonely and begging a story: of the nimble lass who wore it down, dancing around. And of how now, her mind remembers but her body has changed. And the analogy to a person who has been through the trials of a shoe, is interesting.

  6. brian miller Says:

    it is hard to get rid of a good pair of shoes you know…no matter how worn they are or how much they pinch or cause you to hobble as you walk in them…it is interesting i read this two ways…one, in learning to let go…but then the shoe personified, would i really want to be let go?

  7. Mary Says:

    Ah, I have a lot of ‘odd shoes’ around here. Just can’t part with them easily, as I might have an occasion to wear them “someday.” I would draw the line though at shoes that make me limp……

  8. Odd shoes… that would be interesting…. odd socks is another matter.. plenty of those-

  9. L Says:

    On point. Throw off the old, put on the new…move on.

    “…can’t even manage ‘akimbo'” 😉

  10. Even before I got to the second stanza I marveled at the strength of this metaphor. Really good one, Karin. Nice alliteration.

  11. hedgewitch Says:

    Loving the inability to manage akimbo–and the whole concept of only one shoe, forlorn, yet still fitting–the play on trail/trial at the end also interesting and adds to the layers–in fact, the whole last stanza is just memorable and superb.

  12. Julie Laing Says:

    Hi, Karin! It’s good to be reading your work again. Thanks so much for checking in on mine while I was traveling–it was fabulous to know my voice was still being heard from the middle of an ocean! I hope you continue polishing this one; it has some good bits already and tons of promise.

  13. janehewey Says:

    I appreciate, once again, your poetic strength when it comes to metaphor. really effective. I also especially like your “scuffed/but whole” line break. the shoe does not determine your state of wholeness–you wear it anyway, limping and clumping. I am reminded of a recent post you made, wherein you said you felt like you were leaving something behind in NYC. mystery remains…is it the other shoe?

  14. I promise you k, for 13 years I was only able to use one shoe due to my left foot’s curling inward, and i can just hear my shoe have such a conversation! This brings me memories ~wonderful piece! Such a strong metaphor !

  15. Loved the second stanza in this. “Shoes” make subject for great metaphor. I used them once to describe various types of friendships. Well penned.

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