Poems & Essays

19 Sep

Emma and the Shoes

General/Column No Response

I couldn’t walk a block in most of my daughter’s,
let alone a mile. She’s got so many: lace up grannie heels and spikes,
wedges, chunky platforms, gladiators and pumps,
oxfords, flip flops, espadrilles, ankle boots, combats, moccasins…
The shelves are full but they keep following her home, lost pets
that become her loyal friends like those birds in Disney’s Cinderella,
that sewed her dress for the ball. If you peek in her bedroom
while she costumes herself, you might see shoes fluttering
around her, singing acapella in her own wide range—
the boots holding the bass notes near her feet, the rest up higher, singing second soprano. Could
be the song of a sweet heroine
or a stylish villain, Streisand as Funny Girl or a Russian indie popstar…
If the Keds and Doc Martins get bored, they’ll start kicking
and she’ll become the gently scolding Mary Poppins: “Shoe Be Do!”
Or Maria, the future nun turned singing nanny, playing a ukulele instead of a guitar.
She’ll tame the restless shoes with an old folksong played cross-legged on her bed
and one by one, they’ll settle into a semi-circle on the floor. Now the time is right.
Watch how she plucks a lucky pair, slips them on her tiny feet.
At last she waltzes from her room to make her perfect entrance.


Andrea Farber-De Zubiria is a Physical Therapist and Tai Chi teacher by profession. She is raising two teen daughters and helped to raise her older stepsons. She writes poetry as a way to approach life more playfully and mindfully. Her work has been published in Cargo, Foliate Oak, The San Joaquin Review and Smoky Blue. She lives in Fresno, CA with her husband, daughters and backyard therapy chickens.

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Sweet Clock September 19, 2016 Earthworms September 19, 2016