In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief

paving stones with moss
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief

 

A mountain of grief
And a pile of shoes
Met me on the heels of momma’s death
Daddy went first
We went together
Grief shared, grief diminished

Big shoes
Nine or nine and a half
Ferragamo and Stuart Weitzman
Dignity sat at the end of those never-ending limbs
Boney feet, legs
Forgot how to walk
Toward the end
But taught me how to walk
To love
Legs, regal
Queenish and royal
Blue
Like veins
Tributaries, threads of her hands
Blood routes

We sat side by side on Sundays
Hushed on plush red velvet
Quiet as a church mouse, all but my tummy rumbling for lunch at the country club after church
Sweet smells of Methodism and old burnt-red hymnals linger still

I followed the sermon like a ten year old,
catching words and riding the tide of theology
I knew God was in that sanctuary (ten year old faith is strong like that)
The veins of her hands
Like a road map to life
I fingered her gold charms, reading each like a chapter book on a bracelet
Touching the pages
There, on her wrist, like a blind child reads braille
Dreaming of life and lunch

Now I walk out the loss, sift through memory,
find a way to remember

Slip into the slipper-style blue suede driving shoe
This is not a dress rehearsal, not dress-up
Though I am still a child, hers
Left, right
Both shoes
Misfit but sacred

+++++++++++++++++++++++

In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief  first appeared at The Kershaw County Fine Arts Center as part of a collaboration between myself and Laurie Brownell McIntosh. The exhibition included  collaborative painting and poetry from both artists.

Join me on Instagram @elizabethwynnemarshall
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2 thoughts on “In Mother’s Shoes: Walking Out Grief

  1. “I followed the sermon like a ten year old,
    catching words and riding the tide of theology
    I knew God was in that sanctuary (ten year old faith is strong like that)
    The veins of her hands
    Like a road map to life
    I fingered her gold charms, reading each like a chapter book on a bracelet.”
    I will echo Robert H. above, I love reading your thoughts–the images are rich and deep.

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