Feb 272010

shoesby Zan Bockes

Thirty years after the ovens went out,

I paced Headquarters

in my size four 

penny loafers, looking

at the pictures.

More shoes and boots

than lay paired in my mother’s

closet rose in piles,

their scattered mates

empty, crushed.

I saw several my size.


In the next photo

the hairless heads

and curled hands

and legs like sticks

lay jumbled in a pit.

I tried to see them whole.


I wanted to leave the pennies

in my shoes at the door–

hoped they might help,

but knew two cents

meant nothing.


That night I dreamed

of skeletons sharing bread,

of smoke from the ovens

blackening the sky,

and of those shoes, muddy

and laceless, clumping 

to my door.