Like a doll’s shoe, but real enough,
a rosette stitched on its blue leather.
A stubby finger pointed down:
“a flower,” you said, proud you knew the word
but unaware you had released
that moment – and that shoe – from time.
So many other little shoes
were not so lucky, soon discarded
and replaced by trainers, pink
or purple, pimped with flashing lights
and wheels, designed to dazzle
for their mayfly moments in the sun.
But soon your feet outgrew them too
and were encased in solemn black,
stern footwear that propelled you
into sober spaces to be shaped
and filled with knowledge.
At weekends, you chose shoes
that could express yourself:
bright colours, slab-soled boots
marching you through time.
Your feet stopped growing: shoes
can serve for longer now, but they will still
wear out. Not one is destined to outlive
that small blue object, saved
by a child’s voice and an embroidered flower.