Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Shoes

“In pictures like these there are always empty shoes. It's the shoes that get to me. Sad, that innocent daily task - putting your shoes on your feet, in the firm belief that you'll be going somewhere.” 
― Margaret Atwood

“Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man 
until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. 
Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” 
― Harper Lee

“If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?” 

“Even a child with normal feet was in love with the world 
after he had got a new pair of shoes.” 


Midweek Motif ~ Shoes

Once upon a time, there were three princesses who each night wore out a pair of shoes ... but that's not the story I want to tell.  Once upon a time, I had shoes handmade to fit ... and that was the year I started walking my own path.  So for me, shoes have always been both personal and symbolic. 

Helping someone into their own shoes is a loving act.  Throwing a shoe at a President is a major insult, or so I've heard.   Shoe stories stick in my heart and mind.  What about you?

The Challenge:  In your NEW poem, feature shoes in a symbolic narrative
OR describe a pair of old shoes.


The Shoe Tree, Saughton Skatepark
The Shoe Tree, Saughton Skatepark
© Copyright kim traynor

Sundays too my father got up early 
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold, 
then with cracked hands that ached 
from labor in the weekday weather made 
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him. 

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. 
When the rooms were warm, he’d call, 
and slowly I would rise and dress, 
fearing the chronic angers of that house, 

Speaking indifferently to him, 
who had driven out the cold 
and polished my good shoes as well. 
What did I know, what did I know 
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

*Both a reading by Hayden and a poem commentary exist at this link.
My father has a pair of shoes 
So beautiful to see. 
I want to wear my father's shoes. 
They are too big for me. 

My baby brother has a pair 
As cunning as can be. 
My feet won't go into that pair. 
They are too small for me. 

There's only one thing that I can do 
Till I get small or grown. 
If I want to have some fitting shoes 
I'll have to wear my own.

        (Rosebud, So. Dak., 1960)

we all went to town one day
went to a store
bought you new shoes
red high heels

aint seen you since

(Please forgive me for featuring this splendid poem without permission.)

In USA National Archives, by Charles Henry Alston (1942-45)

Boots in memorium of the California residents killed in the war were placed on the City Hall steps.
 The Eyes Wide Open war casualties memorial featuring over 1,500 pairs of empty combat boots � tagged with the names of U.S. soldiers who died in the Iraq war � together with a field of shoes and wall of names to memorialize the Iraqis killed will be coming to San Francisco�s Civic Center on March 25th and 26th and in Union Square on the 27th. Mark Costantini /San Francisco Chronicle Photo: Mark Costantini
(featuring over 1,500 pairs of empty combat boots)

Photo: Mark Costantini /San Francisco Chronicle


Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below 
and visit others in the spirit of the community—

                (Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Word.)


  1. I love this prompt! Happy Wednesday, everyone!

  2. Thank you for the prompt. Good to be back here, everyone. Family and work issues have resolved for me somewhat.

  3. Good to see you and coming around to read your poems!

    I forgot today was Wednesday, and haven't written my poem yet. With a busy morning, that won't happen until later today.

    Looking for my shoes! Have a great day.

    1. I just got home, wet from the rain. Making coffee and then making the rounds. Whew!

    2. And now, finally, I posted a poem.

  4. Lovely prompt Susan. Happy Wednesday poets :)

  5. Just a simple little thing to share with you this time – and it's the first poem at my new blog.

    1. We are honored to have the first poem on your lovely new blog.

  6. I love this prompt, Susan! Some wonderful poem examples given.

    1. Moving lightly for a change. (sort of) Thank you.

  7. What a great prompt prompt. I've written a fair few poems with shoes in over the last few years - here's the first draft of a new one, which I haven't had time to develop. I'm looking forward to hot-footing it back to read some shoe poems later on this evening or first thing tomorrow morning.

    1. Great to see you, Kim. Shoes take us far and wide.

  8. A great prompt,Susan. I'm looking forward to reading all the entries 😊.

  9. wonderfully inspired and inspiring prompt Susan :) thank you!

    got it done, although I could write to this for ages .... great topic ... and will be back to read and comment

  10. Thanks for this prompt. It's fun.

  11. Cheers Susan - this took me everywhere. Satisfied with third attempt - so entered above.
    Anna :o]

    1. You could write a book if you go everywhere with shoes. Glad you're here.

  12. Arrrgh! At my new blog, fiddling with settings, I must have done something which removed all comments to all posts so far. I hope I've fixed it so new ones can show up. Meanwhile, if you happen to see this, and left a comment, please know I did read and appreciate them all.

  13. Hey, I had to think hard on this prompt. I just realised I don't pay enough attention to my (or anyone else's) shoes.

  14. I saw your prompt and decided that the shoe fit.



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