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
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
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.