Tuesday, 24 August 2010
By Olga Hebert of Confessions of a Grandma
From the parking lot of Abernathy's
where Dad waits, listening to the Red Sox,
playing manager and umpire both
over the tin buzz of the car radio,
Mom and I walk through the back door,
right into the shoe department
with its wooden panels and laden shelves
like little altars lined with footwear,
the air thick with the incense of leather.
Mr. Adams, priest-like in his dark suit,
cloud-white shirt and shiny black shoes,
greets us, solemnly nodding his head.
I sit, silent, beside my mother.
The worn seat gives a soft whoosh
and the chrome edge cools my legs.
My eyes, yearning, take in penny loafers,
white lace-up Keds, and "OH"
buttery soft slippers with ribbon bows.
A fetish chosen, I bow my head in prayer.
"Thou shalt not put false gods before me."
On this, Mother and Mr. Adams agree.
In stocking feet, I step on the metal trap.
My size noted, boxes appear in a stack -
saddle shoes, oxfords, sturdy Buster Browns -
my silent pleas ignored.
Other kids will get to wear the pretty ones;
I take the sacrament of practical shoes.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]