Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Pair of Shoes

17th century drawing, artist unknown

A Pair of Shoes
by Jan Oskar Hansen

She was nine years old wore a cotton dress, barefoot and had her
picture taken. Her mother had bought her a pair of new shoes,
and the shoes were so lovely she didn´t want to put them on yet.
Her mother relented the photograph was taken the girl holding
the shoes firmly in her little hands.

She looked into the camera with intense seriousness seeing into
a future she was not yet aware of, perhaps she was but couldn´t
articulate it, hence holding on to her shoes a symbol of the losses
she would suffer.

She married a farmer in Congo they had cattle and coconut trees.
Then came the revolution and since they had the wrong colour, not
black not white had to flee when crazed soldiers came, freedom
was for the masses, who took over the farm ate the milking cows, but
neglected to till the land. She ended up in a foreign land, but she
didn´t mind that so much her children had prospered and survived,
but she was always thrifty never threw away a thing.

~ Previously published in A Poet’s Almanac (cyberwit)