The Shoelace Lady


 

Tottering down the sidewalk she came.
Old, strange and a little lame.
Her long, tan coat flapping in the breeze.
Loosely on her, a foot below her knees.

Her dark hair streaked with gray.
From under a stocking hat the wind did play.
Hunched and shuffling she does come.
Her battles with life hard won.

She carries a worn old shopping bag.
In her left hand it swings.
Her significance to the world will never lag.
On her third finger old wedding rings.

She still wears from an ancient love.
Now lost in time on her withered hand.
Her thoughts for him in hearts of doves.
She’s never forgot him her memory’s sand.

She sells shoestrings from her bag.
To all the houses on my block.
She sees me and her heart sags.
Her young man her heart locks.

From her memory, from her soul.
She’s lost him as well.
Her young son it’s toll.
Has taken her heart to tell.

She smiles from ancient timeless eyes.
Wrinkles lifting a warm old heart.
She sells shoelaces, a sale she tries.
My Mother loves her and buys.

More shoelaces than we ever need.
All colors and sizes even tweed.
An old spotted hand give’s its prize.
To my Mother’s sympathetic eyes.

She says “Thank you “ and turns.
Hobbles down the walk.
From her a lesson to learn.
She goes to another house on the block.

I don’t know why life put her like this.
A gentle old woman who lost precious hearts.
Her passing by few won’t be missed.
Her soul from her body longing to depart.

To be with her love and her son.
No more shoelaces her life battles won.
She shuffles down my street fading from view.
I see her forever in my hearts review.

I’ll never forget the Shoelace Lady.
I remembered her today.
She took a part of my heart.
I hope to see her again some day.

She’s the phantom of the town.
Tendrils of time to her heart wound round.
She floats ghost-like down our streets.
I can still see her.

I wish I could take back her tragedies.
I wish I could see her young smiling face.
I wish I could give her a hug today.
I’m sorry things went her way.

I wish her the best.
Don’t forget these words.
I owe them to her for her life’s test.
Her life to me not forgotten.

She deserves my recognition.
For her trials and unknown retribution.
So think of her in this poem of mine.
A life whose path was changed by time.

Bringing her to where she was.
Bringing her to me.
I remember you old Heart.
I’m sorry for not giving you a hug.

Thank you for coming to see me.
Your wealth to my life I now see.
With your lost ones.
With your life.
With you.
With me.

David Proffitt
02/02/2002

One thought on “The Shoelace Lady

  1. What a lovely thoughtful poem to the memory of a dear person who was in our lives when we were kids. I have thought of her many times since our childhood and wondered about her. Suzy forwarded the poem to me, and that was very thoughtful too.
    Life can take us in so many directions that we had never thought to go, and once we arrive, we find that we can indeed appreciate the ways it has all played out. Thank you for the lovely words about your thoughts of her and your lovely mother, also.

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