My Shoes Are Killing Me
PoemsBook - 2015
A collection of poems that reflects on the passage of time, the fleetingness of dreams, and recounting the past.
Winner of the 2015 Governor General's Award for Poetry
Winner of the 2015 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry
In My Shoes are Killing Me, poet Robyn Sarah reflects on the passing of time, the fleetingness of dreams, and the bittersweet pleasure of thinking on the "hazardous . . . treasurehouse" that is the past. Natural, musical, meditative, warm, and unexpectedly funny, this is a restorative and moving collection from one of Canada's most well-regarded poets.
Robyn Sarah is the author of nine previous collections. Ten of her poems have appeared on The Writer's Almanac, and her work has been anthologized in Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times (2005), The Norton Anthology of Poetry (2005), and The Bedford Introduction to Literature (2001).
queue upon the wires like birds
and wing off, one by one."
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We wake each day and strap the time on our wrists. We have lists of things to do and get. A life of preparation, a life of errands. Laying the table over and over for a feast that never materializes. What time is it? What time is it?
How many times
can a person make dinner? wash up the dishes?
cut one’s fingernails? it is all,
and always, to do again,
while things we didn’t do, and never will,
queue up on the wires like birds
and wing off, one by one . . .
I wanted to write subtitles
for a movie of trees rustling in the wind,
for I have always loved the sound
of wind in leaves, the sound of trees
talking to each other in their own language,
and I have always known
that what they say is true.
you remembered the chestnut that sprouted
in the children’s sandbox one spring,
the seedling you nurtured in a flowerpot,
then in a bucket, then in a dug bed
where it grew to a sapling, then to a full-sized tree
that blossoms now each year
in front of a house no longer yours
No need to be afraid
of darkling words
whose sense eludes.
Live with them a while,
let them grow familiar . . .
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