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My father always wore shoes around the house.
My mother took them off the second she walked through the door.
As a child I joked their marriage ended because of their differences with footwear.
Looking back I wasn’t entirely wrong.
Dad and Mom differed in the way a tornado and a hurricane do.
Mom as a child evaded and hopped over broken shards.
Dad learned to jump on items made of glass before they could undo him.
I would say my mother is proactive, my father reactive.
But dad always wears shoes and mom doesn’t.
My sister takes off her shoes yet she still jumps on glass.
I watch her get the pieces lodged in the soles of her feet, simply because she can.
We call her a bull, a steam engine, a beast.
She is a mechanism of destruction.
If faced with enigma she would break it using brute force.
I was taught to tap-dance at a young age.
My feet always appeared graceful in their lace ballet shoes.
I used to spin around my house, smiling through the pain of standing on my toes.
I was as majestic as an angel, light as a feather.
I gave away my shoes to let my feet sink into the sand as I learned the art of hula.
For years I learned of the ways to evade the world with a graceful leap.
I could spin, tiptoe away without so much as a hiss.
I traded it all away for a pair of used cleats.
It started with soccer, just as it had for my mother.
Football followed for the honor of my father.
I learned how to crush my opponents, tearing up the field as I dashed like my bullish sister.
Brutish feelings consumed me, turning me into a combination of my parents’ force.
Until lacrosse stole me away with its enticing individuality.
I had never done something new before.
My cleats were no longer as destructive, my feet learning to combine force and gentility.
I keep my shoes on when I feel it best.
They come off as soon as my comfort’s desired call for them to.
I step on glass, sometimes with the bares of my feet, sometimes with the soles of my shoes.
I evade glass, regardless of if something covers my feet or not.
My sister is a brute who crushes all no matter what.
I am timid, sometimes destroying and sometimes avoiding.
We took the habits of our parents and combined them.
Even as I crush glass with my bare feet, Dad says I’m so much like him.
But he leaves his shoes on.
Even as I evade the shards with tiptoes and shoes, Mom claims I’m her twin.
But she always kicks her shoes off.