My children leave their shoes everywhere: on the stairs, under the dinner table, in the hallway, shoved under the couch. For a time one of our young daughters kept her shoes in the windowsill in our room. Gazing at them one day, I imagined that they were watching me, remembering being walked in and danced in, and wondering where that little girl had gone. The shoes became a metaphor for everything in her that delighted her daddy. Now she is grown and gone, as are her little shoes.
They watch me
from the glossy cream tile windowsill,
three pairs of little shoes:
one of tan suede with embroidered smiling sunflowers,
one of shining black plastic with velcro straps and pasted buckles,
one of weathered white leather, the bowed laces too long.
They stare at me, unwavering, and interrogate:
Where is the little girl that once danced and twirled and skipped in us?