A Donation of Shoes by Ted Kooser

A Donation of Shoes
by Ted Kooser

They’re on their way to Goodwill
in Destiny’s old cardboard carton,
the flaps folded inside, lending its
scuffed shoulders a look of authority,
the box knowing the route, the shoes
badly lost and confused, their toes
starting in every direction at once,
clambering over each other, laces
entangled—wingtip, slip-on, work-
boot and sneaker—every pair
trying to get one last, lingering look
at the closet before settling down
into their smell. What’s the saddest
about this is seeing those insoles
floating up naked, pale flounders
beat flat and then dried, no longer
to swim through the ocean of days,
led on by plump dolphins of feet.

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