Patricia Clark: “Gold Espadrilles”


I bought them at a market
in a small village in France—

across the square, items laid out
on tables—purses, hats, shoes.

A rope wedge sole and gold
fabric with a sparkly design

like a galactic spiral.
They didn’t exactly fit

but good enough and cheap—
I wear them in summer

or in the fall, at evening,
when it’s hot. Now I recall

I brought them back to France
with me two years ago.

We walked to dinner near
the Eiffel Tower and my friend

Ann was still alive. We linked
arms, laughing, strolling—

my feet hurt, maybe her knee.
The spiral sparkled and seemed

to turn like the stars above,
sky over Paris, blue-black that night.

Patricia Clark is the author of Self-Portrait with a Million Dollars, her sixth book of poems, and three chapbooks, including Deadlifts, from New Michigan Press in 2018. She recently retired from thirty years of teaching in the Writing Department at Grand Valley State University in Michigan where she was also the university’s poet in residence. Find her recent work in Plume, Blackbird, Barrow Street, and Lake Effect, plus two anthologies: Show Us Your Papers (Main Street Rag) and Rewilding: Poems for the Environment (Flexible Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2020).

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