Almost New Out of the Box, an Ekphrastic (Sort of) Poem

He bought the running shoes online,
in part because he got such a good
deal and, in part because he wanted
to try this particular brand and, in

part because, as his son-in-law
opined, he has a running shoe fetish,
not as bad as some guy he read about
in a running magazine who had about

two hundred pair but, in his case, only
about ten pair. Anyway, while he’s not
the Imelda Marcos of running shoes,
he has to admit that he found this part-

icular pair to be irresistible for reasons
enumerated. He waited with great
anticipation, like a child waiting for
Christmas morning, the arrival of his

Santa Clause, the UPS driver. He
couldn’t wait to open the box. There
they were — beautiful, red and black,
soft mesh uppers (the latest thing in

running shoes) and the thick midsole
euphemistically named so that a soft,
billowy, cushy feeling came to mind.
And then he put them on. They fit beauti-

fully in the forefoot but when he stood
up and started walking around the house
imagining he was prancing and dancing
on the trails like the white-tailed deer

he often would see, the shoes fell flat.
Literally. He felt like an old man trying
desperately to regain the vim and vigor
of yesteryear. He put heel cushions in

them. Still no in comparison to his other
plush, cushy, billowy running shoes. He
wore them for a week. People remarked
how flashy they were especially when

matched with the colorful, wool-blend
running socks he had purchased online
at a great price and then in a moment
of utter resolve he removed the heel

cushions and put the shoes in the trunk
of the car for a trip to the nearly new
store.  In those shoes he just couldn’t
be what he wanted to be again, the lithe,

light, young, youthful runner prancing
along blissfully on the running trails.
“Seriously, dear. Think of it as a don-
ation for the betterment of runners in

need of a flashy, cushy but not very
cushy actually more like a racing flat
running shoe at a really good price,
almost new out of the box.”

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