We bank on the human ingenious invention
of social constructionism
to proclaim our dignity–
erected on the pride of soldiers who brave dust and thorns.
And our stories contradict our assertion
like darkness exposing an unlit candle:
We weren’t picked out by discerning eyes,
and we aren’t stylish nor is the owner.
It happened that the two feet entered,
moved to and fro in an aisle,
and it was heard: quite cheap and comfortable!
And in a groggy cart we landed, sharing the jerky journey
to the counter with the frowning blueberries and chips–
the folks persnickety about exclusivity of domain.
The oldies in the rack at home seemed so upset–
the squeezed brethren whose laces over us crisscrossed.
We paired buddies came to be parted so often–
sometimes one off the rack, the other on the other pair.
And now we know why our comrades had a short youth.
Sometimes the case of mistaken ownership
is especially cruel,
when the ignorant wearer is made to get rid of us
and we bear the brunt of anger:
hitting the roof and falling on the bed
amid piles of books and unfolded clothes;
or sometimes landing on the blades of a dusty fan
or delivered at the feet of the owner, upside down,
via swirling legs in a googly mode.
At the owner’s mercy– when to go,
where to go, how far to go, where to reside,
sometimes at a doorstep, sometimes inside the house
or under the dining table,
hitting and annoying the guest without our fault;
quite often made to feel like a stranger
when secrets are discussed in a private room,
and we bath outside in the cold
under the leaking pipe.
Our ambition is the measured imprint of the user’s soles,
our days the hostage
to her mercurial tolerance.
Source: Published in Aquillrelle Magazine, Issue 9, 2013.