Saturday, January 19, 2013

My Shoes

- Charles Simic

Shoes, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
Two partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice-nests.

My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence.

What use are books to me
When in you it is possible to read
red Dansko professional clogsThe Gospel of my life on earth
And still beyond, of things to come?

I want to proclaim the religion
I have devised for your perfect humility
And the strange church I am building
With you as the altar.

Ascetic and maternal, you endure:
Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,
With your mute patience, forming
The only true likeness of myself.


  1. A partial likeness, certainly. I love the way you include a photo with this poem.

    1. My family, who go through shoes like water, think it's strange that my shoes rarely wear out. My shoes, like me, just get more comfortable and sport scratches, stains, etc. (luckily they haven't gained weight!) I sense some metaphor in this, but I'd rather not consider the idea of being thrown out one day.

      The photo is the ad photo of my main pair of shoes, the ones I've been wearing daily for the past eight years.