Buying Shoes in Five Easy Steps

                            I
He slipped on a pair of silver heels
for my mom to try on, and though
she was past the time for balls and
pageants— she married him anyway.
II
When I was three years past my first steps
my mom bought me my first pair of kid’s shoes:
brown and white lace-up buster browns that took
four rabbit ears to tie— and a kiss when done.
Iii
When I was old enough to tie my own shoes,
and my dad was separated and successful,
he became the president of some big society.
He took me to Brook Brothers to buy my first
black suit and a pair of sturdy business Oxfords.
He shook my hand, dusted off my shoulders
and demanded that I stand up and walk straight.
IV
When I was well past old and wise enough
to be married, my soon-to-be second wife
took me to Frank’s Formal Wear in the mall
to try on six tuxedos and groom’s shoes.
We practiced waltz steps for one hour
a day until our first husband and wife dance
V
When my mother passed away, I spent
hours rummaging through her closet
to find those old silver heels to give
to the mortician to place neatly on her feet.
Those feet and those heels raised on that
satin golden pillow was the last beautiful thing
I saw of her when the coffin lid closed.
Oh, how they shined! Oh, how they shined!