Shoes by Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC


If you even knew
What a mile in my shoes
Was like now,
Would you care?

Or would you just
Quietly drop me
As you “clean”
Your Friend’s list?

If I were the huddled
Stranger on your shore
Like your great-grands before
Would you
Open your door?

If I were so starved
I gladly dug in your trash
Would you
Give me a ticket or bread
From your kitchen?

If you fell silent
I would try to ask why
If you were homeless
I’d try to guard your tent.
If you were hungry
I’d offer you half of my…whatever.

Maybe I have
Lived too long.
A relic
Of the age when
Family was forever
Vows were kept
St. Francis was more
Than a garden statue
Next to the Gnome.

Maybe these
Modern morals
Ignoring your sister’s cry
Your brother’s decline
Idolizing bullish, brutish, hate filled men
Walking past that huddled mass
These polished professional
Impossibly perfect kid’s photos
On Instagram

Have become
More important

Maybe I have lived so long
I now find myself in a land
With people who can’t
Be honest that

That little girl had splattered mud in the kitchen
And you had yelled at her. Loud.

That your brother could die, or worse
While you soak in sun in La La Land.

That your sister doesn’t want a card
She wants a hand to squeeze
During the painful injections.

That idolizing a modern day Hitler
Is morally as wrong
As walking past the huddled and hungry
Tap tap tapping
On your phone.

If you had to walk even a few steps
In my shoes
Her shoes
His shoes
Francis’ sandals…

Would you change? Would you see?

(c) 2016