07 February 2018

Walking in Powerful Shoes

Shoe designed for and worn by Prince, circa. 1994.
Shoe designed for and worn by Prince, circa 1994.© The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

~Samantha McDonaldFootwear News, 2/7/2018 

Anticipating a journey to Italy, I feared its bloody history would stream up my legs as soon as as the plane landed and my feet touched the ground.  It didn’t happen.  My shoes had mighty thick soles. But my soul is thin.  Had I walked in the shoes of a gladiator or a crusader, of Mussolini or Hitler—or any of their victims—I might be overwhelmed and broken by violence.  Or not me.
I imagine walking in the shoes of a slave or a refugee when words are more than enough.  What horrors would the shoe unwrap to walk me beyond empathy?   
When I was 7, my Grandmother took a trip to our country’s capital and promised she would bring back George and Martha Washington's boots for my brother and I.  We wondered if they would fit, or if they would be giant boots that we’d be able to fit our whole bodies in.  The suspense lasted for three days.  How disappointing when the boots turned out to be ceramic souvenirs, no more than 5 inches high. In retrospect, we were spared knowing how to be a war General and wifeslave owners who thought owning people and profiting from them was normal.
Still, I wonder about Prince, Michael Jackson, and blues men and women who had heart in their music.  What would be in their shoes?

O to be princes
and for an instant ignite
flames that consume soul!

O to be healers
and in one age break power
that destroys souls!

 For my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Shoes

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2018 Susan L. Chast


Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, oh, oh, I WANT those shoes of Prince's!

I didn't feel like that in Italy (I loved it) but I experienced England as a huge graveyard (albeit loving things about it too).

I very much enjoyed reading this, especially the verses.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I absolutely loved this.....a wonderful read.

Old Egg said...

I must confess I had to laugh at your imagined visit to Italy, I didn't think about shoes or sandals but I did think what I would be when visiting the Colosseum and after discarding spectator, gladiator, and the rest I had to accept I was but a slave to be played with by the rest and not doubt eaten by starved lions hungry even for thin me!

purplepeninportland.com said...

Wondering while wandering. Love this poem! Cool shoes, too.

Thotpurge said...

Perfect... history does seep in through your soles as you walk down paths others have traversed...love that!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

It's just not that easy to be in, or see into, someone else's shoes, is it?

kaykuala said...

O to be healers
and in one age break power
that destroys souls!

Love this stanza,Susan. Very true! Firm actions will ensure better success! The circumstances should not be gambled through luck but planned for eventual success


Sumana Roy said...

I love this journey into history with shoes only. Aw and the disappointment of the kids! Love grandma's humor :)

rallentanda said...

Rome is filled with history...you cant help but be overwhelmed by it . I'd settle for a gladiator's sandals rather than Prince's shoes.Sweet story about your grandmother bringing back George Wahington's shoes

Myrna R. said...

This is a wonderful write. Love it! Made me think of my travels, where I've walked, how have I absorbed history. Also, kade me consider the extent of my empathy. I so much enjoyed this

WildChild47 said...

.... if the soul fits? .....

interesting introspection and travelling thoughts .... the soles carry us, and what of the soul? perhaps of those who believe, perhaps indeed the sole did once carry us as slaves, gladiators, crusaders, peasants, paupers, princes .....

I really liked the humourous touch - 5 inches high ceramic. LOL - that was an unexpected touch. :)

Unknown said...

Oh how delightful. Super. Thank you.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I think poetry is a bit like music. We write a verse or two in ways that the spoken word cannot touch.

Mary said...

Interesting comment on George and Martha Washington. We think about George Washington as a hero, but indeed there is also a darker side. I wonder if children today are learning this in school or if they are still, as I was, oblivious!

Anjum Wasim Dar said...

What a lovely shoe story...we have a shop here named 'Italian Shoes' and it serves the customers well, 'it is the twist and the beat' in the shoes though the song famous on 'Boots' says 'these boots are made for walking'...we all need shoes whether we need to dance walk play stroll or race.