Breakfast over, I dart secretly down the stairs to a
basement bedroom and swap the dirt-brown boots
for Sunday’s best shoes laced riskily down one side.
As weighty as a small animal and tied by orange cords,
my designated school footwear is no good for chasing
girls, or better still getting caught in the playground of
eight year olds running around for that uncertain touch.
Foregoing galoshes and ear-muffs too, this is the
chrysalis discarding for early flight, a couple of years
ahead of when my friend from the house next door
walked across our room, both of us dressing up – as
the saying goes – she awkward in found high heels and
my instinctive wings fluttering as I looked and traced
innocent calves taking on unexpected curves, unlaced.

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