Carolyn van Langenberg: The sandals

Strong epiphanies garnered in childhood
undercut, and sadly, a love for life,
more or less beginning when, in the sun,
the child, luminous guest
and god's gift, playing on the stoney step,
fast span a yelp to catch her mother's
high sandalled and long legged loveliness;

catching, too, her father's sudden sparkling
joy tracking warmth in eyes abruptly
about-turned, bewildered by his daughter's
mother, her deafness
to their child's deeply trust tossed from a love
most unbounded, astounding. This is true.
Beside himself, he repeated what she said.

He watched the tight smile, the pure pleasure
sliding past her powdered cheek, saw his wife's
chilled eye shut inward. The guest, god's gift,
broke down, confusion
in a heap but, anxiously refreshing,
starting up anew, learning she must
not dismay her mother with high spirited

clamour. All of a quiver, intuition
snared the child who, worrying, dropped logic
to dream a life, to sleepwalk down old pathways,
long legs ungainly,
her young foot loving high strappily heeled
sandals, the discomfort slicing hurt through,
wisely, the forever trap, the dead still.