The Shoes I Walk In

Photogrief / Photogrief : Eleanor Haley


Photography by Kevin Amos – Poem by author unknown

I am wearing shoes.

They are ugly shoes. Uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes. Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair. Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step. Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes. They are looks of sympathy. I can tell in other’s eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs. They never talk about my shoes. To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable. To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them. But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world. Some men are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them. Some have learned how to walk in them so they don’t hurt quite as much. Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

No man deserves to wear these shoes. Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger man. These shoes have given me the strength to face anything. They have made me who I am.

I will forever walk in the shoes of a man who has lost a child.

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4 Comments on "The Shoes I Walk In"

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  1. Jimmy Edmonds  April 6, 2016 at 8:20 pm Reply

    Nice poem, although I thought that photos and texts were supposed to be original – its not clear the way this is laid who the text is attributed to – most other versions of this poem usually state that the author is unknown – are you the author?

    • elhaley  April 6, 2016 at 9:02 pm Reply

      Hey Jimmy,

      Thanks for pointing out this error. You are correct, the text should be original or, in this case, attributed to the original author.

      Eleanor

      • Jimmy Edmonds  April 7, 2016 at 9:41 am

        HI Eleanor – It’s a great poem and can take many forms according to the pain you suffer – I think I ‘ve seen it written from the perspective of parents of autistic children (could be wrong here) but as metaphor it works so well for grief – hope you guys are well xxx

  2. Bonny  April 6, 2016 at 6:01 pm Reply

    I am so incredibly moved by this poem. Not only because it is so well written, but because it really captures the truth about grief – which takes courage to express. Such an powerful metaphor. Thank you for sharing.

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