Fable of the Shoes

A Pair of Shoes, 1886
(Oil on canvas, 37.5 x 45 cm)
BY Vincent Van Gogh
Van Gogh Museum

Tiny at first, almost too small to see, shoes sail the air, fall into culverts, litter the gulches and gullies of Texas — shoes made of ash, dander, and pollen, ice crystals, scabs. Shoes of the half-remembered, taken-away, never-returned. Oh, but what fine workmanship in the stitching, the lacing, the soles. A soft rain of shoes patters the roof of the morose ex-president. The senile general growls at the ceiling at night, I can hear you. Enough, go away. And weather forecasters say nothing except what we pay them to say. Once in a while, an actual shoe falls from a cubbyhole in the sky — shoe of an old friend, or a girl you walked home from school. Once in a while, you still may find one along a roadside outside the city: a small cry for justice, a disconsolate shoe.

for Yannis Ritsos

Printed from Cerise Press: http://www.cerisepress.com

Permalink URL: http://www.cerisepress.com/02/05/fable-of-the-shoes