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This week I forgot where I put my shoes

A poem by Dartinia Hull.

This week I bought another pair of shoes

and another, and another, one black flat,

one leopard loafer,

one pair of cool white skims that Kate Middleton likes

only that pair wasn’t the right size,

 

so I bought another pair

of cool white skims

which also didn’t fit

so I bought different pair of a different brand

a pair made of bamboo and recycled tires

if you buy these shoes, someone in Brazil

will plant two trees in the diminishing rainforest.

 

They also are white, these shoes.

They make my feet look like boats.

I look like Peggy from King of the Hill, I told my husband.

With her big-ass feet, I said.

He didn’t comment.

 

Remember the episode when that man

discovered that Bobby was the true Dalai Lama? I asked.

What if we’re not who we think we are?

What if we’re not going where we’re supposed to go?

What if we misinterpreted a dream?

What if somebody somewhere is following

the wrong star?

What if our daughter is the Dalai Lama?

Do we charge her less rent because of it?

 

This week, I missed a deadline

for a poem about Advent

which makes me angry – the season, not the poem,

nor the request –

and I hrrmph at the irony, because when the last

gift is unwrapped,

the last dream considered, the last step on the last

journey taken,

we forget who we were and what we did the week before.

 

This week, I bought another pair of bamboo shoes

and tried to imagine the person who’s planting trees

that I’ll never see in a place I might never go

despite having family there

despite being absolutely positive that the best most

epic road trip

ever would begin in South Carolina

cross the country

scoot down Mexico

cross the Panama Canal, skirt the top of South America

past Cartagena into Caracas, then cut down to Boa Vista

and keep going south

to Manaus with the opera house

that got forgotten when the rubber trade faded

after rubber seeds were smuggled out of the

mouth of the Amazon

and into the Philippines

and northern and central Brazil fizzled like dead pigs

tossed to piranhas

and I’d find a boat – a little one –

and would plant my big-ass bamboo rubber boat

shoes at the helm

steer past crocodiles and through swarms of gnats

remember that I forgot the malaria pills in the

bathroom cabinet

remember that last week,

before my bath

before buying five pairs of big-ass Peggy Hill

bamboo rubber boat shoes

before wondering whether one of my kids

was the Dalai Lama

I had taken off my old shoes

and left them beside the sink

beside the person I was then.

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