Shoes on a Brooklyn Walk

Having in my 50s been indoctrinated into the shoe cult,
I watch the footgear of the strolling locals.
Elaborate sandals that would scrape skin to the bone on me
grace dozens of women’s feet;
toenails are more often nude than painted.
Few of the foot tats that mark my coworkers
adorn the lightly tanned limbs.
Bostonian boat shoes, with and without socks,
are common on male feet,
though hefty brown sandals are also donned.

Five-inch platform heels hike the hills
and I see why folks live 2.5 years longer here–
as a pair of four-inch wedges walk home
with 3 bags of groceries.
Men walking with their wives and kiddos on an early Sunday evening
stop in at flower stalls and purchase bright bouquets.