Bare Feet

May 21, 2008
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I am always one step behind
My sister, strong and confident, leads the way
She is the moon, eclipsing my sun
During a solar eclipse
She is Jupiter and I am the faithful Io
Chasing her round and round
Like a puppy chases his own tail

Strappy high heels sink noiselessly into the plush carpet
And I walk one step behind
A hand clasps my sister's hand, warm and loving
Her laughter echos
As she reaches up to press her lips to his
And my empty hand aches
And I stretch my fingers out hopefully
But no hand reaches back
Because I walk one step behind

Polka-dotted green flip flops thunk dully
Against the scattered sand
And I walk one step behind
Sapphire waves lick and coil playfully
Around her ankles
Her pace quickens
As unseeing eyes stare into a bright future
And I run to catch up
Splashing clumsily through the now menacing waves
My eyes fixated only on her
And I walk one step behind

Black converse slap the sidewalk disjointedly
And I walk one step behind
As high-strung nerves make hands tremble
And bleary eyes make feet stumble
I reach out
To steady her
To soothe the jittering of her hands
But she whips around with blazing eyes
And knocks my hand away
So I retreat back into my shell
And hide the pain in the folds of my heart
Because I walk one step behind

But I don't mind walking behind
Because when my confidence falters
And my steps lag
She turns, laughing, and grabs my hand
She pulls me forward
And she kicks off her shoes, and I kick off mine
And we walk, barefoot
Side by side, hand and hand
My sister and I

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

TheComet said...
Sept. 19, 2014 at 5:20 pm
This is so beautiful!!! It is full of emotions and so deeply true. I honestly don't know what to say to be fair toward your poem ^_^ The story is very well pictured. I juts love the detail use, and the repetition of "I walk one step behind" it kind of gives it a special touch and really strong voice. You truly have a great talent. So keep it up and let the world be amazed at what you can achieve ^_^ Definitely 5 stars ;) Thank you for sharing this.
Marlyre This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm
the setting is great in this story! read some of mine?
Ink_Stained_Fingers said...
May 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm

wow...what a complex, emotional piece of work. i can just feel the longing, shyness and admiration of the younger sister, and i love how you used the shoes to set the tone of the stanza, and then tied it together with bare feet meaning equality.

great work!!

ShernayB. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 10, 2010 at 10:56 pm
I'm crying. Just reading this and actually know whats goin on. But I feel like the big sister in this poem, and my baby sis, in your position, one step behind.
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