Decades old now,
but the leather’s held up, and the curve
of the instep is still elegant.
I gave them away to my goddaughter, sixteen
and blossoming. She was thrilled.
They’re retro, they’re vintage, as I am now,
who once strode the city in my invincible body,
clack-clacking over Cambridge cobblestones
on those sassy kitten heels
like the Princess of Everything.
Resilient relics from another life,
they outlasted a cross-country move,
a starter marriage, and a few bouts of plantar fasciitis,
then languished in the abyss of my closet for years
until I decided, Let her have them,
this girl who is even now stretching toward love
in all its many-splendored disguises
like the limbs of the magnolia in April,
aglow with blushing petals.
And when I say they’re pink,
let me be clear: not hot pink, nor bubblegum,
but a dusty rose, color of desire
and rue, color of the secret
places inside a woman
who’s been around the block a few times
and knows she’s had her share, yet still
wants more: to be what I was always
destined to be
before this burning world
had its way with me.