The Power in Shoes


Marisol looked like Frankenstein’s monster wearing the brown leather stride rite booties. No one in kindergarten wore them. The shoelaces tied to her ankles. Then came the braces. Wide black bars, she guessed from the dungeon hidden in the mad scientist’s castle and the straps with multiple metal loopholes that fastened over her chins. Those straps were scraps from the laboratory that held the monster on its gurney. The other kids, mostly the boys, would point and yell at her, “Frankenstein!”

Her friends stood by close with their legs, covering my Marisol’s bars. That’s when she thought about using this moment to her advantage. She raised my arms up, fingers straight, and roared. Her voice vibrated in her chest. 

Power. Stand up proud. 

She chased the boys, made them screamed, fall on top of each other. Her friends laughed and cheered, “Go get ‘em.”

Marisol wore those leg straighteners for a century. Well, it seemed that long when she was a child. Now grateful. legs are straight. She doesn’t walk like a duck, or like a monster. Unless! That’s right. Unless she’s pretending, when laughing at her memories with her friends. Even with the boys. Her arms stretched out to be Frankenstein’s monster.

Photo via T. Gillmore

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