By Asante Lucy Mtenje
In her shoes, those shoes,
those two sizes too big,
worn out “kanavasi”
she drags along to the dumpsters
to rummage through the wilting,
rusty banana and mango peels,
disregarding the stench and the flies
that hover around her long
after she has retired to “bed”.
In those four inch, strappy stillettoes
that grace her with a confidence
she doesn’t really possess
as she awaits lustful glances
from pot-bellied, sweaty armpits
descending from the latest mercs.
The last imprint on her mind
as she falls in a drunken stupor
is that smiling angelic face
awaiting her homecoming.
In those Manolo Blahniks,
those Steve Maddens
and her all-time favourite
that fill up the room,
that fill up the ever-
growing space between them.
Those rhinestone braided heels
that polish up her washed out, black-eyed face,
those Italian leather boots
that mend her broken smile.
In those suede black pumps
that sway her gait,
as she commands the boardroom
only to be met by uninterested gazes
that bore through her knee length skirt
and later ascend to the mounds on her chest.
In those tight maliposa plastic shoes
that hold together her bony frame
and her bloated sore-infested feet
as she coughs violently.
In those cracked Sofias that quiver along
with her as she queues up longingly
for the gift of life on a cold Monday morning.
Those shoes, in those shoes
that have walked places.
Those shoes have seen faces
those shoes have been there for ages!