Poetry Starter #2- Flip Flops
What the hey!
The cost is only two dollars
and fifty cents. Fuschia, lime, yellow--
they line an entire aisle at Wal Mart
where some poor sucker has to keep picking
them up off the floor and putting them
back into their orderly boxes on the shelves.
I imagine she’s a junior in high school,
and this is her part-time job, poor baby.
At night she dreams that they
leap out of their boxes and bounce
onto the linoleum floor, hiding and seeking
throughout the entire shoe department.
Once she found a pair in electronics,
There’s no order for your average
flip flops. Who cares if you wear them
to the mall or the beach, the grocery
or the park?
Sometimes I don’t even
know where they’ll take me until
I slide them onto my feet. Such freedom
in such a thin strap, the one
between my big toe and the tall man,
the squishy sole, the reggae song they sing
with every step; a certain harbinger of
summer and swimming pools.
My grandmother wore them in her
garden, my niece wears them
everywhere, toenails blazing,
she’s a peach, a plum, a sweet tomato.
Flip flops . . .
She’ll make a few, like me her aunt,
going one direction one moment,
another the next, and still finding ourselves
finding our way.
My grandmother, Marge, was the original “flip flop”
girl. In the 1960’s flip flops were called “rubber thongs,”
which was such an ugly name for them. I prefer flip flops. Marge wore
them with her flowery muumuus, which made her look something like a multi-colored
bell. She enjoyed being comfortable.
Now my niece, Maggie, who is named for my grandmother, hardly wears
anything but flip flops. And I have to say . . . they’ve come a
long way since the rubber thongs Marge loved so much!
Recently, I made a trip to WalMart to buy a fresh pair, and the shoe
department was a chaotic mass of flip-flops. They were everywhere--on
the floor, on the chairs, mixed together in large boxes. It was a mess!
But it was glorious too. Write a flip-flop poem!
- Shoes make great subjects for writing. Pick a shoe, any shoe, and
it will tell you a story. It may want to tell you about a special event--a
wedding, a prom, a soccer game. It may want to tell you about how it
hid from the other shoe? It may want to tell you about a previous owner.
If a shoe has traveled many miles, it will have many stories.
- Write a story about finding the perfect pair of shoes. How many pairs
did you try on, how many shops did you visit, before you found the perfect
- Everyone has owned a pair of shoes that were uncomfortable. Once I
wore a pair of heels to a dinner party that made my feet start screaming.
I had a three block walk back to the hotel where we were staying and
on the way back, I actually took those puppies off and put them in a
garbage can. I ruined my stockings, but my feet said “thank you”
all the way back to the hotel. Write about a time when you very uncomfortable--what
did you do? How did you solve the problem? Tell the story.