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Summer Breeze Summer Breeze
Recommendations: 19

Shoes For Life

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soul mates

Finding the right fit.

I wanted some new shoes one day so I went to the mall
and as I wandered 'round the shops I came upon a stall.
The sign said 'USED', I asked the clerk if they were all on sale
but he just smiled and shook his head, explained without detail:
"These shoes are special, you will see, just try a few pair on
Given to me, not returned, I trade them for a song."

I decided that it couldn't hurt to save what cash I could
and took the chair he offered me, removed my shoes and stood.
"I don't know my measurement," I said apologetically.
"Do you have the tool for that? Can you tell from one of these?"
Presenting him with what I'd worn, he placed them on the floor.
"I do not need your measurement," he said, and turned toward his store.

The little stall was full of drawers all along its sides.
He opened one, then two, then three - the pairs he did divide
into choices that seemed odd to me considering my age.
"Are you sure about the tiny ones? They seem made for a stage
and not for anything I'd do within my daily life."
I smiled to hide doubt of his taste - had the man no wife?

"Trust me just this once I ask, then leave here if you wish."
His eyes were so sincere I sat, and caught a whiff of fish.
I wasn't sure, but I could swear it came from the slippers.
"Those won't fit me, though," I joked. "My feet are more like flippers."
To my surprise he went to knee and placed them on my foot;
as if they had been made for me, they fit perfectly - I looked!

I would have asked him how they did, but right then my mind went blank.
It filled with marvellous images, and smells that really stank.
Before me audience laughed and cheered as I performed for them
then just as quickly disappeared, replaced by wharf, and men.
All around me moved the sea, while chill air filled my lungs;
one man's face came into view, looking haggard - woebegone.

He was my father in this scene, I knew it sure as day
for other visions filled my head - sun shining as we played.
Normally a happy man, today he'd got no haul
so even all the tips I'd made wouldn't keep us from a fall.
We lost our home - I saw it clear - the streets were unkind too;
everything of this girl's life contained within these shoes.
Toward the end she'd finally found some happiness and peace
some joy again in loving, some hope, and some relief.

Abruptly I was sobbing, upon a wooden chair.
"How could you have done that! That really wasn't fair!"
The clerk was sorry I could tell, he pushed air with his hands.
"That was just a sample, dear, not all that I have planned.
These shoes contained from life to death, but others are unfinished
traded in along the way, not control but fate relinquished."

I glared at him but still allowed that I was too intrigued
to walk away without a peek into all that I might be.
For hours I sat there spellbound as I tried pair after pair
becoming ballerina, doctor, florist, pilot in the air
until at last I put on shoes that felt so very right
I didn't want to take them off, not even for the night.

"These are the ones, I'll take them," I told him with a grin.
The man, he looked down at my shoes, said, "I'll be seeing you again."
But I just walked away from him, knowing he was wrong;
I wouldn't give my old shoes up, even traded for a song.

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