Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Well worn shoes"

One of my favorite photographers Jada Fabrizio submitted this piece for the 'Ekphrasis." It really spoke to me and I created a new poem inspired by her photograph.

“Well worn shoes”
Jada Fabrizio

25” x 19.5”

Image copyright Jada Fabrizio. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.

Well Worn Shoes

These shoes have been worn well and are well worn.
They have mentored and lifted. Walked me through
the awkwardness of adolescence into the assurance of adulthood.
They have marched to protest cruelty and wars.

I never had fashion sense, so it’s fit that they suit all occasion. 
These shoes gave me the confidence I needed to capture a crowd.
They confirmed in me that the path I had taken was the right one. So 
I walked through life wearing out these shoes and they have served me well.

Then one day I tired of the old school buckles. The worn-in vamp
creases from years of standing on my toes to reach higher. The splitting welt.
Widening quarter. Toe cap scuff marks. The frayed topline —
all records of what I had accomplished and of my value over the decades. 

But I wanted a new pair with stronger laces and a healthier shine. So I have spent
these past ten years trying on new styles like a wandering Cinderfella.
Testing new fads only to realize that I looked ridiculous in a half boot.
That wingtips didn’t make me soar and that thicker soles made me chunky.

So I slipped back into my comfortable well worn shoes. But they are no longer
relevant. They’re too old to be stylish and not old enough to be vintage.  No one
wants to own a pair of well worn shoes anymore. So I watch as they fall 
apart beneath my feet. Until just the inner worn down soul remains.

— Robert P. Langdon

Poem inspired by the artwork Well worn shoes

poem copyright Robert P. Langdon. Poem may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon

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