by Ted Kooser

In the shoe store storage closet,
the smooth brown eggs of new shoes
lie glowing in boxes, nestled
in christening gowns, their eyelets
already open and staring
but their laces still tightly folded
in dark little fists.  Let us
not tell them just yet
that they will all too soon
be just like the others, waiting in rank
by size and sex and color
at the secondhand store-
old shoes with cracked faces,
with sore hands fanned out on their knees,
their toes turned up from forever
walking uphill in the rain.

-from Weather Central (Pitt Poetry Series)