KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Prose Poem: 229 words

The Price of Red Buckle Shoes

by Nin Andrews

When I was a girl, my mama always said to me, Sarah Jane Lee, you get what you pay for in life. And if something looks too good to be true, or if it just don’t smell right, it’s wrong. I still wanted some things to look real fine. And be fine, too. Like I wanted a pair of red buckle shoes from Jones Department Store Downtown on Water Street. Or saddle shoes. With frilly white bobby socks like the pretty and popular girls wore to St. Anthony’s. But my mama couldn’t afford to shop at Jones Department Store like everyone else—Jones was where the shoe salesman X-rayed your feet with a fluoroscope so he could find you the perfect fit. My friend, Gil Simmons, said you could stare through a porthole and see the bones in your feet move when you wiggled your toes to see if you had growing room. Sometimes Mr. Jones himself would help out in the shoe department. Rumor had it that he liked pretty young girls, and if they let him kneel before him, sliding shoes on and off while he stared up their skirts, he’d give away shoes. Sometimes he’d sneak his hand up for a touch. It was true. Years later, I thought of red buckle shoes every time a man touched my crotch.

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