In the morning, she'd put on her father's shoes.
They were too big and conformed to someone else's feet
but they were familiar, and he promised she'd grow into them someday.
The shoes walked on the footprints her father had made years before,
always leading her forward.
She wore them to bed and in the bath,
never letting her feet out of the cage of leather and rubber.
But wearing someone else's shoes everyday can become tiresome.
Her feet began to protest, screaming out with angry cuts and blisters.
One night after a long day of walking, she couldn't take it anymore,
and slipped her feet out of the hot, sharp traps that her father's shoes had become.
Immediately, she felt her battered toes breathe a sigh of relief.
Without the shoes telling her to go forward,
she could finally stand still.
— Lauren Schubert
Lauren Schubert works at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as the grants donor-relations coordinator. She lives in Wilkinsburg. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.