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Photo of a tennis shoe lifted triumphantly into the air

Consider the Shoe

By Audrey Jolly


Call me Lefty.
I’m the left tennis shoe on your foot.
Yoo hoo! Down here. Could you please lend an ear?
It’s quite a hard life when I’m just kissing dirt.
But I am a shoe, and a shoe will be true whatever you do.

But for now, let’s take a look at what I do.
And kid, I don’t mind telling you,
you’re such a heel!
How would you feel to have such weight upon your sole?
Downtrodden. Forgotten. And having no say
in where you are taken and where you are going—
day . . . after day . . . after day
(as with each passing moment your groove is worn away).
But I’m still a shoe . . . and a shoe will stay true . . . whatever you do.

So, I’m here tied in knots with a sock in my face.
Could you spare just a moment to maybe give me some thanks?
I’m a shield to your heel, and I yield to your will.
I’m your true best support. I’m your runner! Your skipper!
So why, when you want comfort, am I traded for a slipper?!
A Donald Duck slipper! Dare I say, what a quack!
Do you want me for your enemy? You’d better think about that.

Ever thought of what would happen if I went on strike?
Yeah, in your math class in front of that cute boy you like?
I could, as you know, simply loosen my laces,
trip you up, and catapult you down the nearest staircases!
Ha, ha! I’m a shoe, but I’m done being true!
Now at last I’ll prevail! The time has come to rebel.

Well . . . I would, except . . . that right shoe . . .
Aw, shoot, she is kind of cute.
And how could I quit when we make a perfect fit?
So thus I remain: I am a shoe. And I will stay true whatever you do.


Audrey (then Audrey Madsen) wrote this poem in 2011 for a high school poetry slam. It took first place.

If one of your shoes could talk, what would it say? Would it be mad at you? Why? Why not?

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