A Walk in Your Shoes -Unrealized

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I slip my feet into your shoes

wrinkling my nose

while I distract myself

from the odor

of sweat and rough pebbled roads and

difference.

I remember the first time

a person of color told me

she had grown up

thinking white people

smell funny

like wet dogs

and cringe under barrage

of memory –

my defensive inner monologue

(thank the goddess it was my inner voice)

at how wet dogs smell

GROSS

I pride myself on being

clean

and my naivete clamoring

I don’t have a smell

though of course

we all smell of something

and perhaps I

reeked

of unacknowledged privilege.

 

I brace myself

embrace the experience

bury ringed and painted toes

in concrete shod heels

gird ankles as I lace up

tighten the knots

haves and have nots

reinforce resolve.

white-collared fingers

split and crack

while flipping the coarse hewn pages

in the atlas of your journey.

I mimic Nellie Bly

hell-bent on exposé

ferret out your footsteps

along the turbulent trail

I clamber to the summit

of perilous mounts

I could have sworn

(cursed prodigiously!)

were foothills which

barely broke my sweat.

there are serpents

camouflaged as flower stems

they struck at me

when I stopped to smell

ah, the roses!

as they invite us all to do.

 

winded,

eyes dust-caked

I stumble upon it

the X-marked spot

that place

that unites and divides us

no treasure here

you rubbed and rubbed

with spit and pencil stub.

it is blurred around the edges –

the twisted-tined fork

in your back road

that haunts you

as it ill-defines

you

contemptible or vile.

 

I have arrived

at the close

vaudevillian excursion

phenomenological circumnavigation

manifest and destiny

obscured

I tug your boots

from barking dogs

massage blistered

tenderfoot

contemplate chipped varnish

adorning well-mouthed toes.

2 thoughts on “A Walk in Your Shoes -Unrealized

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