This poem came to me after hearing from an old childhood friend…
She is the one who gave me "Her Shoes." It was written in honor of the kindness we show to other women, and girls, and the beauty that exists in giving without expecting anything in return. For, if giving comes with any expectation it's truly not giving at all.
I remember my friend's kindness, so many years ago, was so free from expecting that I give her anything in return. I felt such comfort because of it.
So now I offer my gently used items to other women in hopes they receive them with as much appreciation and comfort as I once received these shoes from my friend.
She gave me her gently used shoes,
though too big for my standard size seven.
I’d stuff toilet paper inside the toes of them
like a ballerina
with the box
encasing the dancer’s toes,
supporting her feet
as she pirouettes
and dances on point.
I stuffed my red ballet flats
so they wouldn’t fall off
when I walked the halls
in high school.
They became my favorite pair of shoes.
I’d cram more inside,
or crunch my toes
making my foot fatter
to keep the shoes from falling off.
My toes would cramp,
though not bleed
like a ballerinas.
Walking was not easy
unless I pressed paper
into the tips of the shoes,
making them artificially smaller.
She knew my shoes were stuffed.
She knew they’d fall off if I didn’t,
but she never told anyone,
that she had given me those red shoes,
or that I had to cram tissue inside,
week after week,
in order to look cool.
Now I have more shoes
than I probably need
and often donate gently used ones,
hoping they go to homes
of women who will walk,
just as I did in hers,
by the kindness of another
nothing in return
while receiving the grace
that comes from the giving.
Krista Katrovas (E-RYT) has dedicated herself to the practice, study and teaching of yoga since discovering it in 1999 after dancing rigorously as a dance major in college. Krista has had scores of articles on Yoga, Wellness, and Spirituality published in nationally regulated magazines. She has a regular column at Elephant Journal here. She has taught Yoga in Prague every July since 2009 and has been sought to teach in Kuwait, Canada, Virginia, California, Kentucky, and Florida. She calls Kalamazoo, Michigan home, where she teaches Yoga, Meditation, offers Spiritual guidance, and practices Shamanism. She has cats, though also loves dogs, all animals. Her power animal is the Snowy Owl. Visit her yoga website here.
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