Sunday, July 27, 2014

How To Walk in My Shoes

"What does it mean to walk in your shoes?" 

When I asked this question to my friends, I received a beautiful array of answers, mostly poignant, but some pretty silly. My aim was to quilt them together into a collective poem. None of these words are my own. In my head it reads somewhere between prose and slam poetry. Find the rhythm and let me know how you feel.

 "How To Walk in My Shoes"
   A collective poem

   They are ugly shoes, 
   But comfortable
   You skip walking and dance
   Stepping in puddles by accident 
   And then jumping in them on purpose
   An adventure...
   Due to my set of stubby legs
   It usually means you aren't walking very fast
   I still can't figure out how to make heels look graceful
   Presenting a pleasant demeanor 
   Amidst a barrage
   Of stupidity
   Tripping over the dog
   Barefoot's better.

   The best stories start when my boots pass through the doors 
   Into places I can't tell you about

   I am a dad doing his best for his daughter
   A daughter watching her mother slip away
   Wade through the bullshit
   Sense of duty, holding lives in the palms of my hands
   Caught in a Painful War, I'm Fighting.
   A man who occasionally gives in,
   May someday give out,
   But who never gives up.
   Constantly struggling to make people perceive me 
   The way I perceive myself,
   Which is inaccurate

   I am a walking contradiction
   An optimist fighting a pessimist 
   While trying to find the right track to stick with -
   Not all who wander are lost
   It means consistency
   A marathon or a mile 
   Are still accomplished one step at a time.
   A woman with so many blessings 
   That even acknowledging the negatives,
   Would seem to lessen them.
   An imaginative hag who wants to be a Star.
   Bette Midler,
   Joan Rivers,
   Barbara Stanwyk
   Lots of edge
   Slightly to the left, 
   Always with a smirk

   I will feel what you feel 
   And honor the path you have taken
   I've lived long enough 
   To value highly 
   All those things I mocked when I was young

   Drop the L - I'm waking
   Just waking the fuck up.

*   *   *

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories this week. This poem wouldn't have been possible without you.


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