New Shoes

New Shoes     (by Christine Biles)


I remember walking

around the reservoir

with you, sporting

my new black shoes,

soft leather with white

stripes, hopping

from crack to crack.

I didn’t know about

that saying: “Step

on a crack, break

your Mother’s back.”

I’m glad it’s not true,

otherwise you would

have fallen early on,

collapsed in a halted

heap, damaged, defective,

your knees bloodied

on the knobby concrete

of the pale sidewalk.

And I wouldn’t have

noticed, eyes only

focused on the fresh

black leather landing

on, departing from

the sparkling white

rock. The sun

in its empty blue sky

was too high for me

to see, the water

in its massive, round

basin, surface rippled

by the gentle breeze,

not bright enough

to draw my focus.

You, smiling down

at me in my pigtails,

at me skipping, hopping

in the simplest sort

of happiness, would not

even have stolen my

attention if the worst

had happened. Looking

back, I’m glad that phrase

is nothing close to truth,

is only the product

of children’s ignorance

at a time in their lives

when ignorance is bliss.

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