Wednesday, 10 March 2010


There's a word to grab any girl's attention. For those people lucky enough to have 'standard' size and shape of feet, the world is their oyster, as you might say. Shoe shops must be like ever open Aladdin caves, tempting them at every tilt and turn to throw caution to the winds and indulge in yet another pair of delectable footwear. But what about us poor suckers, who through no fault of our own, have appendages of less than standard proportions: too narrow: too wide: to small: too large? And don't even start on things like corns, bunions, or fallen arches. Is it any wonder that shoes often prove to be thorns in the flesh? Literally.

I've often complained that my feet are more shoe-box shaped, than shoe-shaped. They don't taper to a point, but line up their toes in an almost straight line - only a hint of curve as they decrease in size. As if that's not bad enough, the big toes can only be described a curly. They turn chirpily upwards, so the front depth of my shoes is crucial. Elegant, pointy court shoes were never my choice. In fact, for many years, I used to buy little boy's lace ups for casual wear; one, they were available in wider fittings, and two, they were usually cheaper!

The youth of today has put paid to that by having larger feet, earlier, and shoe makers have jumped on the bandwagon and segregated sizes accordingly. Anyhow, enough of this preamble. It was only an excuse to do a repeat post of a poem I wrote one day, after contemplating a local Oxfam shop. Sorry to anyone who read it before - but thanks also to them for remaining such loyal followers as to see it for the second time around!

Second Hand Shoes

I stand outside the Oxfam shop
in front of rows of shoes.
I wonder, would I stand in yours,
if I had to choose?

Some tiny shoes aren’t very scuffed
because young feet outgrew them,
while those were such a comfy pair
their owner's half worn through them.

Not so these, they must have hurt;
they’re scarcely used - no speck of dirt –
and those with heels so high and thin
were never made for walking in?!

There are shoes quite narrow
and shoes like boats
with bulges made by bunions,
there are football boots that boys in specs
might tie with laces and string round their necks,
like the men who sell the onions.

See, those are the fashion of years gone by,
discarded on a whim.
Although they’re almost good as new,
it’s plain that they would never do,
for one must ‘keep up with the Jones’s.’

So all of these shoes, where invisible feet
have imprinted their character, careless or neat,
hold their stories to tell, if we listen and look,
just as clearly as if they appeared in a book.
And what would the story of our shoes be
if they, too, stood in line for the whole world to see?


  1. Heh,'d need a lot of padding to fill mine, luv! Never one to give into fashion, just wot's comfy to wear ;) And it isn't easy to find EEEE size!

  2. Enjoyable poem.

    My previously worn shoes are burned--no one could ever stand the stench to make them sell twice.

  3. Nice poem. I too have a problem with my shoes - I don't get my size very easily.


  4. For some strange reason, I thought of this verse in the old song, "My Darling Clementine" --

    Light she was and like a fairy
    And her shoes were number nine;
    Herring boxes without topses
    Sandals were for Clementine!

  5. Never saw the attraction myself, but my wife does: shoes and handbags. Oh yes.

  6. When I was a little tike, I loved new shoes. It was enhanced because my Dad took me to the shoe store for selection.

    My band days caused fallen arches. Then my many hours of standing in one place as a pharmacist, plus poor food choice and extra weight took a major toll. The two knee prostheses ended with the verdict I came only wear "walking" shoes which pretty much translate in US as lace-ups and no heels. Can't even wear what we call "grandma" shoes.... Old age surely has some limitations.

  7. Hello Jinksy,

    Your verse was new to me,
    rather like the shoes would be,
    if I were buying.
    But I'm quite particular
    and don't buy shoes easily
    there's no denying!

  8. Keens.

    This one word could make your feet happier than anything else in the world.

    Worked for me... I own seven different styles and never a blister, sore toe or unhappy foot moment. These shoes were made for walkin'...

  9. I have very narrow, small feet. It's hard to find shoes. Do you really buy shoes second hand? I wouldn't do that for hygiene reasons and also because the arch supports inside, or padding, would have likely collapsed.

  10. "Ah, Jinsky! You will ne'er grow old!
    Feet like an android, but a heart of gold."

  11. Another fanciful and delightful poem. I must say that, although I have been known to buy washable items at Op Shops, I've never even lurked near the shoes! Let alone considered their history! My own feet are very small, so I can be counted among the number who have problems.

  12. I love you, Jinksy. You see interesting and meaningful stuff where many of us just pass by without a thought. Lovely.

  13. Loved this poem too. I also love shoes. I guess I am one of the lucky ones you site above. What would my shoes say..hemm "When is the snow going to melt, so we can get out of the dark stuffy closet. LOL

  14. oh, just walk one mile in my shoes... :) very cute and appealing twist to the old tossed away spirits

  15. I know better than to take a chance of waling in another person's shoes!

  16. Wailing or walking :)! Hahaha, ah the typos!

  17. I love the way you see a story in everything. And have the talent to write poetry about it. You have a great view of the world.

  18. You say "As if that's not bad enough, the big toes can only be described as curly. They turn chirpily upwards, so the front depth of my shoes is crucial".
    You give a whole new visual to pointy toes!

  19. what a delightful poem about shoes. yes, definately my favourite for a shopping expedition!

  20. I share your jaded view of shoes and shopping for shoes, since I share your curse of odd-shaped feet. Isn't it awful? I live in trainers!

    Love the poem! What would my shoes say? They'd probably say 'give us a break!' or 'Please! Not another muddy field!!' LOL!

  21. Hi Jinksy

    I liked your poem because I have often wondered about those lost and footless shoes at the op shop...they seem so abandoned. Shoes are one thing I have never been able to pass on to the op shop, unless they were kids shoes that had little wear. i always felt that they were so personal and shaped to the owner as you have described...a bit like buying second hand dentures!

    Happy days


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