Sorting it out toe-to-toe

"I sorted Mommy's shoes," our first-grader grins

after making our bedroom a minefield of footwear:

ranks of shoes pulled from our closet.

We divide discards from keepers.

I pile treasures:

spikes, boots, wedges, slings, mules.

Patent leather winks up at me like fish

in the bottom of a tropic lagoon.

My wife heaps up flats, sneakers, slippers.

Rubber soles bend. Languid laces entwine.

Canvas, suede, pinks, pastels collect,

a windfall of New England leaves.

My wife directs a stern finger

at my gleaming, angular mass:

"Your pile's junk."

First, I protest, then, sighing, surrender,

watch her toss the shimmering shoes,

a catch of exotic fish

gone bad.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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