Green Heels

By Fran Davis

Sweet little cloth-covered pumps
                  in emerald silk about size five 
          stored in a cedar chest for 50 years or more,
preserved for their charm
                   (sinuous straps with a platform sole).
A tiny woman spinning 

into some long gone night,
                   such special shoes, vanity afoot.
          My mother’s, small woman of
modest desires—but the shoes
                   tell a different story—
          party girl, lover of the dance, 

the quick step and twirl, a hot hand
                   at the waist, slippery nylons
          and a garter belt, fox-trotting and
jitterbugging, dance hall men, the night
                   as long as it needed to be. 
          Those high-stepping shoes 

saved through move after move, 
                    growing children and dawning 
          troubles, tucked into a trunk until
the errant daughter left them out,
          so careless. The long, sweet story 
        of the steps they made eaten by the dog.

Frances Davis has written a column for Coastal View News for 25 years. Her work has appeared in the L.A. Times, Passager, Calyx, The Chattahoochee Review, Askew, The Hopper from Green Writers Press, and several Gunpowder Press anthologies. She is a winner of the Lamar York prize for nonfiction and also a Pushcart Prize nominee. Also by this poet: "Missing You