BLACK SHOES

Why were there none that fit?
She could have worn running shoes
with the pink prom dress–very avant garde
but she did so want to impress–
not the poet she was going with
because he was just a friend–
but the other girls.  Girls?
Women in a warren of rooms,
gowned and veiled.
They were remote and polite,
crowded together in those rooms
surrounded by shoes.

She was annoyed when one of their fathers
followed her into the street
and tried to kiss her.
She pushed him away
and walked fast, back to the rooms
where she tried to find the right shoes–
Chinese shoes, ballet slippers,
garden clogs, highheeled pumps–
There was nothing in the rooms
but the quiet women
and piles and racks of shoes,
black shoes, every size but hers.

 

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