a sad shoe story

Magpie Tales features a weekly visual writing prompt, and this is my response to Magpie #16. Click here for more.


I sit on the floor and massage her bony feet, carefully avoiding the hammertoe and bunion that distort her right foot, although both bear assorted signs of 94 years of wear. How she once loved her stash of Ferragamo pumps — slim pointy toes, even slimmer curved heels. In high school, as the size of my feet caught up to hers, I would jam my feet into those Cinderella slippers, wondering if the price of pinch and pain was worth it. Decades have gone by since she chose to suffer for style and status, and those Ferragamos have long since gone to Goodwill. She has no choice now but to shuffle in soft slippers, her frivolous fling with vanity long forgotten. I sit cross-legged and barefoot on the floor and massage her hurting feet, delighting in my straight and polished toes and thankful that I had the good sense to choose otherwise.

17 thoughts on “a sad shoe story

  1. Oh how I loved your Magpie! My mother’s feet were the picture of perfection … through 83 long years. I so loved massaging lotion onto those feet …… and I miss her.

  2. Half of my joy in Magpie Tales is discovering my writers voice-the other half is sheer delight in reading all the entries from all walks of life-your writers voice is thoughtful
    and kind.

  3. You know you took me right to my Grandma who ALWAYS wore high heels – toward the end of her life my father tried to convince her to wear something more comfortable, but she never would. For the life of me, I don’t know what her feet looked like.

    This was beautiful.

  4. After reading your (and several other) posts, I am seriously rethinking my choice of footwear! I do like the tender image of sitting cross-legged on the floor rubbing your gram’s feet.

  5. Well, with all of this encouragement, I’m looking forward to giving the next Magpie Tales a go. Actually, it is my mother I wrote about — 94 years old with severe dementia. I sure hope I don’t live that long if that’s how I’m going to wind up.

  6. What a wonderful idea (the prompt), and a very beautiful response, Elaine. (I haven’t worn heels since age 17, and I still have painful feet :-(. Don’t even want to think what they could be like at 94.)

  7. Massaging feet expresses reverence. Lucky (or deserving) Mum. Also read on about your latchkey kids. Makes me wonder if we smother kids with ‘kindness’. You didn’t and they grew through self reliance. loving post.

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