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Ode to the Sandals by Allan Edmands

May 22, 2013

Patient sandals of spirit endearing!
They endure for hours, until dawn, beside the door.
These loyal sentinels wait until I slip into them,
Resolutely to sally forth with them.
They always comprehend me, my conscientious sandals.
Sweet and sensuous sandals!
They are wedded to the feet beloved,
Which they comfort in their molded beds of tender cork.
The dints in the sandals are sculpted with every tread.
They correspond to the contours of the bones, of the tendons, of the sinews.
They endow ample room for the wiggling toes.
They adhere with strong and bonded strands of resilient jute.
Two strips with cinched buckles ensure security,
And the soles of rubber cushion the shock of my sauntering.
Outstanding and ostentatious sandals!
I cannot dress up without them.
They display the socks sublime
As those a well-known Chilean paid homage to
(Sometimes each snug sock is unmatched–or resplendent, even loud–
Or repugnant in its own way).
In January just as in June (another famous verse of the soul)–
Whatever the season–yes, even in the winter–
Notwithstanding, I wear my fantastic sandals,
And with them I walk everywhere under the heavens.
Scandalous and dissenting sandals!
These are of the Sanhedrin
Of the esteemed East Coast or the vanguard West Coast,
With these I distinguish myself: Alias Birkenstocks,
These startle the right-wingers,
Who then prattle their plentiful nonsense resentful and fiendish:
We who wear them must be proud, self-vaunting elites,
We must eat arugula and scallions and cilantro and almonds
And tofu and sushi and granola and brie,
We must drink white wine and café latte,
We must listen to NPR,
We must pet cats, we must ride a bike, we must recycle,
We must drive a Prius or a Volvo, we must sing kumbayá.
According to wicked Mr. Antonin Scalia,
These sandals are worn by bearded incendiaries of silken flags.
I don’t like cilantro, nor brie,
I don’t drive a Prius or a Volvo,
I don’t sing kumbayá, I prefer red wine.
I’m not even an incendiary.
But the remainder is one hundred percent true (and not so silly) for me,
This black sheep of Centralia, my redneck hometown.
Maybe with my sandals I will sow discord among such reactionaries
Who like to censure our enlightened concepts.
Daring and enterprising sandals!
Like marching soldiers, together we greet the outside world.
We gather the firewood I have split
And carry it over the tiled floor to the stove,
And afterward we haul out the ashes to the heap behind the patio.
We walk with the dog to the end of the road,
And to the neighborhood diner.
And together we drive by car to Spanish class.
One day we will set out to Alaska, to London, to Ireland, to Andalucia.
We will join marches to support unions (but never the Shining Path).
Even someday we will seek the centaur and the leaping dragon of dreams.
Withal it’s true that we never sleep together:
Beside the door my horses rest alone.

for the original Spanish version, see

From → Uncategorized

  1. Christina Gardner permalink

    Love it!  A real kick (pun intended)  🙂 Christina


  2. Thank you for your comment. I put mine here just to harvest any feedback.

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