|Shoe designed for and worn by Prince, circa 1994.|
~Samantha McDonald, Footwear 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 wife—slave 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
My blog poems are rough drafts.
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© 2018 Susan L. Chast