Red Shoes

at-the-harbor by Judith Clay

at-the-harbor by Judith Clay

Red Shoes

She knew it was a boutique because it was so narrow, the bare wood warped
beneath a couple of barber chairs, upholstery as shiny
as Vitalis, though it sold shoes.

Which made her despair, having feet too big for a boutique;  if only her feet
were small, she’d have it all, even, probably, cheek hollows.

As it was, she wore size ten.

Did boutiques back then
even carry a size ten?

But amazingly, full cheeks blood red, she found wedges
that would fit her that same shade, the slant of heel, toe too,
actually foreshortening her sole, the leather fine as
desire, meaning that maybe

there was a chance for her, a chance for happiness.

But the thin red leather didn’t wear,  and so, soon after,
she turned to keeping the rest of her
as small as possible,
which seemed somehow to allow her
to wedge her way through this wide
narrow world, as long as
she didn’t
look down.


Here’s a draft draft draft poem for dVerse Poets Pub’s prompt hosted by Claudia Schoenfeld based on the very cool pictures of Judith Clay.  (All rights reserved to copyright holders.) 

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19 Comments on “Red Shoes”

  1. brian miller Says:

    haha…wedge her way through this world eh? smiles…hey you know you got work with what you got and that is how you make it….and big feet mean you have a big…pair of shoes…ha…look at you…three poems in one day k…whew….

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. I don’t know if any were very good poems! But I also worked on novel. it was so nice to be a bit freer! (Not to complain about busy-ness – but nice to have a little spare time.) k.

      On Sat, Aug 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM, ManicDDaily

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      ps – almost as many as you every single day! k.

      On Sat, Aug 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM, ManicDDaily

  2. Jamie Dedes Says:

    And she’ll probably come to find one day that her feet aren’t that big after all and if they work, that’s all that matters. This world does make us self-conscious. A great poem, K. Well done …

  3. claudia Says:

    keeping herself as small as possible…somehow that makes me wanna shout… NO…be who you are…wear shoes the size that fit your feet and walk upright no matter what… cool piece k.

  4. Oh wow…what a wonderful interpretation of this work, so emotional and a lovely tale. 🙂

  5. kaykuala Says:

    Big feet would mean bigness in stability and efficiency. Still it’s a nice feeling. Great take K!


  6. Mary Says:

    Ah, so true that one would most likely not find size 10 in a boutique. Ha, actually as I look at the painting, it seems her shoes are the smallest part of her. I do hope she finds a way to find happiness in the world, whether or not her shoes can be found in a boutique.

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    Just love this, k. It feels so solid and real, despite the dreamy setting and the voyage into the interior of self on a pair of boat-big shoes–how these external things do shape us, how tinkering and building from the outside in can be the only way sometimes to know/change/adapt–but the most effective thing for me was the sense of place and character, which are bigger and more vital than the usual poem-size iterations–more story-size, so working on the novel is obviously having some very beneficial side effects, I think. So glad you are getting the time and opportunity to write–you certainly are not wasting a minute of it here.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks. This particular manuscript is for children, and I’ve kind of given up on the voice. It is an old manuscript and I’m just not going to be able to get it right, but will just get it done, I hope. Thanks for kind words. k.

  8. I love this… so sad not to fit in… to big or too small.. a cruel world we live in… a wide narrow wold indeed. Very good.

  9. This is so wistful. It’s so easy to base our worthiness on things like that. This would be a good inclusion in a book for children/preteens…and I can see you doing just that.

  10. Mama Zen Says:

    “if only her feet
    were small, she’d have it all, even, probably, cheek hollows.”

    I completely adore this.

  11. shanyns Says:

    Ah I can relate – nothing fits when you aren’t the right size for the world. Great piece!

  12. loved this..the awkwardness of not fitting in & trying to remain obscure so as not to feel more uncomfortable..nice write

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