Friday, September 12, 2014

Where they all walked off to

 photo Little-Shoes1.jpg

Little Shoes

I remember this game, promises and compromises
if she’ll just eat two more bites. The young father
out alone with his toddler, her plain quesadilla holding
its own, his mountain of supernachos holding his.

So I watch them awhile—he treading beans in a sea
of cheese and guacamole, chips circling in yellow-
finned sharks of hard corn; she squirming on the bench
looking at everyone and everything not on her plate.

Then I notice her little sandals and remember more.
My daughters, their delicate growing feet, the many
times I fastened their shoes and didn’t, boxcars full
of times, and I wonder where they all walked off to.

I choke up thinking about those little shoes—in some
landfill now—35, 25 years, 20, counting my son’s,
buried with everything that gets put under, trodden
down, yet intact in spite of time, erosion, entropy.

They exist, still, in the way primitive cave figures
exist, deep in places few and no one dare venture,
enduring by persistence, the treason of memory,
surviving the peril of what it is to be forgotten.

Joseph Gallo
August 31, 2014

 photo Little-Shoes2.jpg

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