dVerse Poetics – Shoes

This is written in response to Kim’s prompt for dVerse Poetics – shoes.

The things left behind
My mother’s shoes
parked under the bed where she left them
before she went into the skilled nursing facility.
I find it hard to put them away.

My father’s shoes
still new in a box but
35 years old. He never got to wear them.
I find it difficult to throw them away.

My baby shoes
bronzed, wrinkled, and tiny.
My parents loved me.
I dust them every day.

The things we leave behind
break our hearts when found.
Shoes – on the ocean floor
left behind by those who died
on the Titanic.
These things will lie entombed until the end of time.

public domain images

48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 15:04:34

    I love all the memories of shoes they carry… I also have my pair of baby shoes somewhere… My father’s shoes was different though… he wore every shoe down before he died, but I have a pair of my uncle’s dress shoes in my wardrobe.


  2. kim881
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 15:15:49

    So poignant, Toni. I was going to write about the shoes my mother wore on her wedding day – i have a photograph – but I couldn’t. It’s still too raw. besides, I don’t have anything other than some photographs – my sister took everything else. I am glad that you have these shoes that still connect you to your parents. Shoe retain the imprint of the person who wore them – they bore their weight and took them places. I really felt the change from personal to universal feelings in the lines:
    ‘Shoes – on the ocean floor
    left behind by those who died
    on the Titanic.
    These things will lie entombed until the end of time.’


  3. qbit
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 15:19:45

    Yes, it is amazing how much shoes evoke the people and their day to day lives. That is a great end there using the Titanic. And that picture!


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 29, 2017 @ 16:18:00

      When I was viewing the footage of various videos and the destruction of the Titanic for a couple of engineering seminars, all of that was blanked out at the sight of those shoes on the ocean floor. I had to leave the seminar and go outside and have a good cry along with one fellow who was inhaling a cigarette. He says to me, that is so sad, so human….and lights up another. And he is right. It is a sight that stays with one. Thank you for you kind words.


  4. Beverly Crawford
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 15:43:25

    Insightful, melancholic and so beautifully written. A treasure.


  5. Jane Dougherty
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 16:17:08

    Another poem using the image of the shoe as memory. So poignant, and so personal.


  6. Frank Hubeny
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 16:58:53

    My parents bronzed my baby shoes as well. Definitely a sign of love I didn’t appreciate until I had my own children. We took videos rather than bronzed shoes for them, but they didn’t have a video camera in those days.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 29, 2017 @ 21:49:45

      I went to the Salvation Army thrift store a couple of weeks ago. For sale, on the table with odd stuff, were five pair of bronzed shoes. I wondered who had kept them and what had happened for all the pairs to be placed for sale in thrift store. It made me very sad.


  7. alisonhankinson
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 17:39:37

    Absolutely beautiful. Dad still has my baby shoes- they were clogs- I was very prem and walking was clearly an issue- I have my twin girls first shoes- Emily’s Piedro boots- she has Cerebral palsy and Ellen’s black patent leather, slightly scuffed- size 2.5…Shoes. Lovely shoes. XXX


  8. ZurkPoetry
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 17:40:53

    The pathos in each shoe! The personal aspect is beautiful, especially taking the sadness from a huge event like the Titanic and focusing on the tiny detail of someone’s shoes left at the bottom. Truly heart tugging. Shoes can be such a deeply personal thing!


  9. whimsygizmo
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 17:41:44

    Oh, Toni. This choked me up. So beautiful. A lovely tribute to both of your parents, a well-loved childhood.


  10. The Writer's Village
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 18:24:03

    Nice touch with shoes carrying memories as well as people.


  11. Victoria C. Slotto
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 19:51:00

    Geez, Toni. These are the things that really do help us to grieve. As I was reading Bjorn’s poem, I got the idea to write a poem about an old lady I cared for in a SNF. The shoes she left behind told such a story (actually there are many of those stories). I think I’ll let that rest for now.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 29, 2017 @ 20:37:11

      Bless your sweet heart. I’m sure you could write a book about shoes. The thing that helps me grieve my mother is besides being such hands on care of her before she went into SNF was seeing how much the diseases destroyed her and how much she suufered and went down the last month of her life.assisting the CNAs with changing her, bathing her, putting clothes on her, feeding her. The day before she died I had brought all of her dirty clothes home and had laundered and folded for her. The things we leave behind…bless you Victoria. I pray that you will find peace. Huge hugs.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO


  12. Sangbad
    Aug 29, 2017 @ 22:49:56

    A philosophical look into the shoes of yours…


  13. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Aug 30, 2017 @ 02:05:17

    Adore you poem… I almost feel the first there stanzas could stand on their own.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 30, 2017 @ 20:17:28

      I agree. It was originally just three for this prompt but then serendipity occurred – The James Cameron National Geo special came on about the Titantic and how different things happened due to the engineering design. He also goes into details about all the dishes – from steerage to first class survives on the ocean floor to this day. Also how different letters and packets that were brought out to get a sense of the people, the history, etc. how some of the scientists would open up and the smell of “death” would soil the air – also how some of them smelled of damask roses – damask roses of all things. Intriguing and incredible. But when I viewed this special at a seminar, I had to leave the room at the sight of all those shoes scattered and empty. I saw it in its entirety a couple of years ago and then, again Monday night. If you ever get the chance, watch it.


  14. charliezero1.wordpress.com
    Aug 30, 2017 @ 14:01:48

    The sentiments behind shoes of a father and the memories we come across. They do make us remember and have histories and we cry in what we have cherished throughout the years.


  15. Laura Bloomsbury
    Aug 30, 2017 @ 17:01:42

    Time and mortality – the most heartbreaking of feelings tied up in these shoes. Very, very moving poem.


  16. revivedwriter
    Aug 31, 2017 @ 00:33:16

    Thank you for this poignant reflection about all of the memories that a simple pair of shoes can evoke.


  17. purplepeninportland
    Aug 31, 2017 @ 15:15:24

    Wonderful poignant remembrance, Toni. I recall feeling the same way about my parents’ shoes. Dad always had many more pairs then mom. All his shoes had curled toes. He had given a pair to my husband, who cannot wear them anymore, but won’t part with them either.


    • kanzensakura
      Aug 31, 2017 @ 15:17:38

      I don’t blame him. The shoes of my father, still in the box with the price tag attached, I doubt will ever be thrown away either. I don’t know when I’ll be able to pack my mother’s shoes away from under her bed. As it is her room door is shut and I don’t go in there anymore. Too full of sad painful memories.


  18. Feelings and Freedom
    Sep 01, 2017 @ 08:10:02

    It’s amazing how you listed all those memories with shoes. Each and every possession of a lost one is a treasure including shoes. Beautifully worded.


Thank you for reading! I try to reciprocate all comments. If you want me to visit a particular post, please direct me directly to that post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: