Friday, December 15, 2017


On Tuesday, I had been sick, and though I felt better, I remained sick until yesterday morning.  I ate my first real food since Saturday afternoon.  It was a glorious breakfast.  I like how good food tastes and feels when you haven't had much more than juice and tea and maybe a bit of applesauce and a handful of Cheerios (oh, I'm so glad those are gluten free - though they don't work on a low carb diet - but who cares when that's all that wants to be in your tumbly).

At any rate, at some points I felt a little better and wrote.  This write was one response to a picture I'd seen of high heels.  You may have been here on Tuesday, in which case I apologize for putting you through the poem again.  If not, here you go, sans apology!

This also was put in my head I think, because of what a dear teacher friend had said to me once years ago.  The first day she saw me, I came into school for my interview.  I had on open toed heels (I was young and wanted to make a good impression for my interview).  They weren't all that tall, but they were heels.  She remembered wondering if I'd wear heels to teach.  I never wore them again.  Heels to teach first grade?  That would be stupid!  Of course, sensible shoes and clothing good for floor sitting would be the choice from that day forward...since I did get the job.  The shoes did their job for that interview - or maybe they hired me in spite of my shoes...
photo credit: Tom the Photographer - Unsplash

Well Heeled

life started
frivolously heeled,
then grounded
became the norm.
Who walks on forest paths
in heels?
Who runs on beaches
drilling into sand?
Who climbs a mountain,
pushes a swing, jumps rope,
or wades in puddles
on tiptoes of patent leather?
Who sits any taller
curled in a beanbag
with goodnight story?
frivolously heeled
is for our tea party.

by Donna JT Smith

And I guess the title is kind of a play on words - and mistyped even when I first wrote it - Well Healed - because I am feeling quite well today.  No soup for supper tonight!
Let's go see what Diane has for links today at Random Noodling where Poetry Friday is being hosted!

After reading Diane's post, I thought, why do I say so much sometimes.  Perhaps I should play:

Frivolous heels
grounded -
my feet on
forest paths
on beaches
sunken into sand
atop mountains
kicking up over ropes
swirling through puddles
curled beneath to listen
to goodnight prayers -
until the next
tea party.

on wooded paths
on sandy beaches
on mountain rocks
over spinning jump ropes
through muddy puddles
for goodnight prayers

Just some thoughts.  What do you think?


  1. I'm glad you're feeling better, Donna! Your poem(s) made me smile. I used to wear heels many years ago, but always hated them. I now wear flats all the time, and usually sneakers.

    1. There is nothing good about high heels, except that I'm kind of shortish and heels give me a whole different view!
      Love my Privos and Merrills flats! And sneakers (or tennies, as they called them when I lived in the Midwest) are wonderful inventions.

  2. Donna, somehow you have never struck me as a high-heel gal! I love this story. And I love how Diane inspired you to play and pare down...THAT is poetry! Now your images are so vivid! Thank you. And should you get a chance to read CAN I TOUCH YOUR HAIR?, there are a pair of shoe poems in there. You *might* relate to mine. xo

    1. I played a high heel gal for a few years after my barefoot childhood, then I reverted! So much more comfortable with my heels dug in! I don't have the book yet, but it has intrigued me, so I guess it is time to check it out!

  3. I always say, "less is more!" I do like your last version best! The essence!

    1. I have been trying to scrape away lately. I find it easier to write the whole, save it, and then tear chunks off to see what I have left.

  4. The second one is my favorite! Glad you are feeling better, Donna. My younger daughter had to ease back into eating this week -- the first thing she wanted to eat was plain pasta (gluten-free, due to her sister's celiac).

    1. I think the second is my favorite also, as it has more of the essence of the first. The third I like, but isn't quite the same image.
      Being sick and gluten-free is not all that easy, while also trying to stay low carb...the low carb has to be ignored just to get something in for energy.

  5. Glad you're feeling better. Enjoyed your poem (I haven't worn heels in years!) :)

    1. Funny how as a little girl I thought it would be so amazing to be able to wear heels...and then I got to. Meh.

  6. Donna, I'm glad you're on the mend. I vote for the second poem with its spare images that still keep the intention of the original. Well done!

    1. Thanks! I'm partial to that one, too. I always have to remind myself to pare down. I get so wordy!

  7. Donna, I am glad that you are feeling better. Also, I got your winter poetry swap poem and gifts. Thank you so much! (I sent you a message on Facebook as well). I absolutely love it all and will be posting about it next week. Thank you!

    1. Yea! Glad it made it to you faster than a sloth!

  8. I'm glad you're better now and so much better you can re-write, too! Both are fun, but the 2nd one is better in the flow, to me. I taught first grade long ago & I did wear heels and nylons. It was expected! But I did change when we went out on trips. How crazy were those rules of dress! Now I'm kind of a jeans/shirt person with tennis shoes nearly always. Merry Christmas, Donna!

    1. When you mentioned the nylons, I remembered back to when I wore them too, and I had one first grade boy that would run his hand up and down my calf, feeling them, during storytime! I'd try to subtly move away, but then usually I'd have to gently ask him not to do that as it distracted me from my reading! I didn't want to hurt his feelings - 6 year olds just want to feel the silkiness, but he had to know I just couldn't have him rubbing my legs!
      Ha! I also had a long, full and heavy-weight fabric patchwork skirt that had a few patches of velvety and silky material mixed in with its wool - there were a few kids who loved to use its hem like a blanky when they thought I was distracted with a book, too! I should have had a basket of fabric squares for students to use at story times! Why didn't I think of that before???

  9. Well I can relate to sans-high heels! I love the look of stiletto heels but can't wear them any more because my feet complain. As to the various versions of your poem... pared down it feels like a different poem. I like the first version with its rhetorical questioning voice that draws me in in comradeship. The second version is definitely more pointed (like the shoes in the picture).

    So glad you're feeling better... wouldn't it be nasty to be fighting this bug over Christmas day! A Merry Christmas to you, Donna.

  10. I'm glad you're feeling better. I still like the first one best. Your poem made me laugh, though. We were shopping for shoes this morning and had a chuckle at a pair of hiking/work books (the kind my dad called brogans) that had two-inch heels on them. Who wears heels to go hiking? We've had fun trying to answer that question!

  11. I'm glad you're feeling better, Donna! Cast my vote for the second poem too---I also like how it retains that original essence but streamlines it a bit. It's a wonderful poem!

  12. I like all the questions in the first version, but I agree that the second retains the essence with fewer words. Thanks for sharing your process with us!

  13. Good Monday Morning! I am headed off to school today in....flats. Mary-Janes, to be exact. I do love a pretty high-heeled shoe. But, as with many pretty things--the are not practical at all. I love how this poem sends me to places I love: the forest, the beach, the classroom. It's a good poem. And, your playful revisions are fun too. I like the second revision....but it could be simply the heels of one's feet and not necessarily heels of shoes. So, it's good that there is some interpretation of the reader involved. Feel better soon!


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