I am reading the New York Times
and it is a story about shoes
the shoes left behind
where they are removed before prayer
at the Kabul mosque
after the suicide bomber.
some of the owners of the shoes
have died, others
were injured, some ran so fast
and have not come back
to take them home,
this symbol of their survival.
The writer tells us
about green boys sneakers,
a young girls shoes with sparkling buckles,
worn shoes, cracked sandals, navy loafers
fresh polished for worship,
one hundred forty-five pair more.
I am grateful to him
in a damaged kind of way
because I will never again read about
a suicide bomber
as some random article
(not as dramatic
as those who weaponize cars).
I will always know about the shoes
left by those
who no longer leave footprints.
with thanks to Mujib Mashal, author of the article”A Mosque was Bombed. What to Do with the Shoes Left Behind,” September 4, 2017