The Pattern Song/America’s Shoes

Everything has a political component 
If you learn to see 
you’ll surely agree

Everything has a political component
If you think it though
You’ll see it’s true

Walking in America
wearing its mandatory shoes
hurts.

They don’t fit
but because they are superficially pretty
and match the rest of your outfit

people try to tell you
your feet are the problem. Don’t worry.
It’s fixable, they say. 

Having tried on and taken home 
dozens of the annual versions
of America’s shoes, you disagree

but go on walking
in shoes full of blood,
shoes lined with gun metal.

Everything has a political component
It’s a fact of life
we tuck out of sight

Everything has a political component
We don’t like to say
how it got this way

Trying to find others
whose walk hurts
in the same way yours does

is always hard
and even tragic
on some days.

Finding a place
where others have stopped
to kick them off,

to stand together,
stand barefoot and bruised
but more at ease,

even briefly
for a quick respite, 
is its own kind of ache.

Everything has a political component
The slant hits you 
as you think it through

Everything has a political component
Every gear that turns
Every tree that burns

The problem, you say,
is the shoes, not the feet,
but even some

of your fellow striders
who’ve stopped beside you
on the street

to pull the cursed shoes off and rest
insist the next version will fit at last.
They’re finally getting it right. Look at

how much progress we’ve made, how
far we’ve come. The walk ahead may be
daunting, but we’ve certainly left

all the bloody footprints
we need
to show the way.

Everything has a political component
Don’t say that too loud
You’ll attract a crowd

Everything has a political component
It’s not always clear
But it’s always there

If you refuse to tie the shoes back on,
they’ll be the first 
to stomp your bare feet

until you are dead or
so crushed you might
as well be.

Stop trying, drag yourself
to the nearest funeral home
(because you can’t even limp there)

where they’ll box you up, hide your feet,
burn or bury you and call you a martyr
long before you are in fact dead,

when all you ever wanted was to get home
without screaming inside
at every step.

Everything has a political component 
If you learn to see 
you’ll surely agree

Everything has a political component
If you think it through
You’ll see it’s true

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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