Someone Else’s Shoes

“They don’t fit”
is my first thought.
“They are too narrow,
too tight and too long.
I’ll trip in these.
I’ll fall.
They pinch. They hurt.
They don’t look like me.
They don’t feel like me.
It’s unfamiliar.
It’s hard.”

“It’s too damned hard.”

If I wait it out, I realize
that to make it work,
I would have to have
the same foot.
That shape.
That size.

If I wait longer, I realize
to get that way,
I will have had
to move through their steps
for a long time,
perhaps their whole lives,
in order to make my foot
the right ‘way.’

If I wait longer,
I understand more completely
that with the same foot,
the shoe fits,
and my steps are theirs
and I am in the same place
they are, the same place
they would have been.

I would not be
different.

I could not be
different.

They are who they are,
and the once-foreign nation of their footprint
is as natural
and as foregone a conclusion
as breathing.

It is
a humbling realization.

It makes wearing their shoes
no less uncomfortable,
but rather than
a rebuke,
a scolding,
a lesson in shame,
it becomes a lesson
in empathy.

Be them.

Now
be yourself.

Now
show love.

No tags for this post.
This entry was posted in On Depression, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Someone Else’s Shoes

Go ahead -- say something. Anything.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.