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

red-soled Louboutins

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!

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