Life's journeys: Language, culture, communication

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My daughter wants flip-flops

Such is the patriarchy.  
Had God been Goddess 
for sure there’d have been 
a ‘Fiat calceamenta!’ 
in there somewhere, 
right after ‘Let there be light.’ 
Somewhere in-between crocodiles & farm animals and
lone Adam begging for more cuddle time.

‘Let there be purses and handbags,’
but, above all, ‘let there be shoes,’
in all colors of the rainbow:
let there be sandals and boots, 
chunky or sleek and thigh-high;
let there be peep-toes and pumps, slingbacks and mules;
let there be cattish kitten-heels and fancy flats that look tame
but aren’t; let there be clogs, gladiators, loafers,
slip-ons and wedges – and painted toenails, too;
let there be comfy sand shoes;
let there be sneakers, moccasins and uggs,
shoes that you climb into and shoes that you float on;
and please, please, please let there be
all those sassy stilettos – 
sharp, cunning, devilish,
made for crushing snakes’ heads on man-made pavements
because if there is temptation, the snake ain’t it, girl, 
you are!

You, confident, strong, thinking, feeling, queen of your castle,
soft-cheeked, long-legged, pretty
pretty darn irresistible whatever you do
(except when you do guilt or shame, forget those),
you are, so own it.

Yes you, window-shopping for shoes,
to chase away sadness, shoes made for walking – 
walking past, walking on, walking over –
shoes made for running,
for kicking and clicking your heels,
shoes made for swirling, for dancing and joy,
shoes signaling the boss is coming
and she’s in a foul mood, so, buster, watch out;
shoes telling them, look, it’s my mom, my girlfriend, my woman,
here she comes again
bearing gifts.

Shoes sneaking up on them softly, 
like love
when they least expect it, 
shoes tiptoeing around when they’ve fallen asleep, 
and shoes stomping off when their conscience has.

Shoes stepping up to each challenge,
each hair-raising adventure, 
(like the shoes you wore to the delivery room)
shoes in which you stand proudly,
shoes you drop in the hallway to finally put up your feet.

You can slip into any shoe you like, 
any shoe that fits, 
(no more chopping off of toes, no more mutilation),
you can afford to lose a heel-piece, but don’t ever lose
your head, and keep walking.
You can afford to drive them crazy with
your wall-to-wall shoe shelves,
your homeful of vaporous dresses (and matching earrings and scarves and those jeans you wear better than anyone),
your exquisite eccentricities they always rant against but secretly miss
when you’re gone.

Source: Unsplash, photo by Apostolos Vamvouras

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