No Heel

No Heel

He tried to speak in boot, but worried that it came out
in penny loafer–

The problem was that he didn’t want to speak
in the tongue of just any
boot–not goose-stepper, arse-
kicker, not

but rocker, worker, hiker,
Frye–he’d even have settled for high-top, which was rather like boot, if cloth–

Oh, bass weejun could, he supposed,
talk the walk,
but his words felt flat, soulless–also, he really really
did not want to sink
to topsider–

Then he met her,
and one night at a party full
of ankle-covering (if

she took his hand and pulled him outside
to a lawn fresh-soaked
with summer night,
and sighed–”isn’t it so great
to have slip-ons–” slipping
hers off–

He accepted then
some part of himself,
which felt snug, in a good way,
and almost as warm in that moment
as her side–


drafty poem for Real Toads prompt by the wonderful Marian Kent to write of shoes.  The pic above is a charcoal (photograph modified) of mine, and for interest I post one I made on iPad below.  Thanks!

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10 Comments on “No Heel”

  1. Kerry Says:

    I love the way you approached the theme, Karin and how you achieved a palpable sense of relief at the end.

  2. How beautiful! As we wonder and worry about our own things, suddenly something new comes and makes us realize something entirely different – and most comfortable…. A bootable love story!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    It is always a different view from another’s shoe. Love where you took this.

  4. sanaarizvi Says:

    I love the sense of relief near the end of this gorgeous poem..❤️

  5. whimsygizmo Says:

    Oh, YES. Speaking in tongues here. So good.

  6. Rosemary Nissen-Wade Says:

    Oh, that’s just divinely gorgeous in every way!

  7. Jim Says:

    I like those languages better and better, especially when “he” met “her”. But you wrote it right, K, “he’d” been ‘had’.
    Been there(?).

  8. M Says:

    an excellent foil, shoes for bare feet and the warmth next to her

  9. Marian Says:

    Ohhhh wonderful! Love this. The first two lines are golden!! I was thinking to myself, this could only be worse if he was actually speaking docksider. And then the topsiders appeared! Very clever and I really like the whole feel here, angst moving toward a bit of freedom, or at least looseness.

  10. Oh I do love this… what a great way of doing metaphors… I think in the end he learned to speak bare-foot.

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