Streets Well Traveled

I know these streets.
I traveled them well.

On them
I bared my soles.

To them
I bared my soul.

In boots lined with bread bags
I walked on the edge
of every snow-bank that ran their distance
disguised as mountains.

In sneakers and sandals
that sometimes pushed pedals
I chased toads to safety and rescued worms
from puddles of doom.

In once fashionable high-heels
I nonchalantly clicked down concrete
balancing on nails that pushed through plastic long ago
pretending not to notice being noticed.

I walked four-legged best friends
in sunlight and moonlight
to and from that school yard as if we owned the joint.
Six feet on auto pilot.

I mostly walked with my shoes
dangling comfortably in hand
with black bare feet that could walk on glass
without flinching.

I walked in step to the beat
of my own drum and my Walkman
headphones hidden beneath my hair
playing my favorite songs
over and over
I traveled these streets.
They knew me well.

On them
I bared my soles.

To them
I bared my soul.

~ smj

Hometown Glory, by Adele

34 Comments to “Streets Well Traveled”

  1. Woww…this was lovely… and moving!!!
    I miss those streets too… boohoo… Life was there, and there was life…

    But it’s ok i guess… I will find s street here too… and soon, they too will know me…

    Keep writing!!! I am lovin’ it!

  2. Isn’t life just a metaphor for our inner life?

    • I suppose. It’s all relative, right? Maybe most things boil down to a matter of perspective & perception… ?

      • I meant that we have an experience of knowing ourselves in yet another way (eg One who would rescue worms) and then we transfer the experience to something external. It would be beautiful if we did not forget that it was a metaphor. As it is we hardly know that we exist.

  3. pretty much everything around us is metaphorical of life… quite amazing how it works out to be that way! :)

  4. This was awesome …loved the part…To them I bared my soul…as you moved mine :) Hugs x

  5. OMG!!! childhood times :)

  6. Exactly how I feel about the road in my apartment!!! It seems like it means nothing at all, but when you think about it, there is more connection than we can ever imagine. Amazing Sam! :)

    • Ilakya – =) thanks. and right… the connection… good word…

      This was inspired after I took a drive past my old house… a house I lived in my whole life until I moved out when I married…. It’s only about a 10 minute car ride from where I live now… but, seems like a world apart when I think about it.

      I drove past my old stomping grounds.. and when I thought about how many times I walked that neighborhood… all I’d been thru on those streets.. I was overcome with nostolgia… and I thought, “if these streets could talk!” lol but, in a way.. I also felt like I don’t know them anymore… so much has changed… I don’t know them or the people on them like I use to.. and vice versa… sorta sad. I felt like I was visiitng an old friend that I had grown apart from and didn’t really know anymore… just as I have grown and changed myself…

      Anyway – thanks for the read and nice comment. =)

  7. Hi. I like the way you employed the word ‘sole/s’ –as bottom of feet and the play on ‘soul’ –bare feet on broken glass–that’s a powerful image of being able to endure pain. Lots going on in this poem–all that latent sexuality in the high heels combined with being noticed….oh yeah.

    • Hi there 47WB =) Always good to “see” you… and thank you for letting me know you were here. The “soul” and “sole” thing was an afterthought as I got going on the body of this… but, I liked the way it played out. I felt it was fitting…
      and, glad you liked the comment on the high heels.. I laugh now.. remembering those first high heels I loved so much that I was either wearing them or carrying them and walking barefoot at all times… I don’t know how the hell I walked in them now when I look back… lol

  8. Hey Sam, Ive nominated you for the Pink Award.. id be happy if you accepted it :) Thanks

  9. Feeling the passage of time through the feet – good metaphor as we’re so rooted to the ground, to the planet, as we move forward in time.


    • Val –
      Thank you. This was one of those poems sparked by some very literal memories… that happen to have all kinds of natural metaphor possibilities to play into.. Glad you caught that and liked this. =)

  10. I travel them . . . in desert boots and Converse sneakers after graduating from Keds and Buster Brown’s.

    michael j

    • michael – =) I bet you have… and, I bet you have also traveled them well.. with many good memories and lessons learned in them. Personally, I’d like to hear about the Converse sneakers times.. =) I don’t know why.. something just tells me there’s some good stories behind them… ?

      Thanks for the read. =)

  11. I love
    “In boots lined with bread bags”…
    I just learned this year that, kids in snowy climates often have bread bags over feet when they go out to walk andplay in the snow.

    Its a great image .

  12. Beautiful poetry, a treat to those who read it.. You overwhelm, with your poetic license.
    Loved the progress, and the “feel” of the poem.. the Journey of yours you take your readers through.. One of the finest I’ve read in a long time..

    • DL –
      So glad you enjoyed this…. Thanks. and, sorry for such a long-time-coming thank you… but, a heart-felt thank you nonetheless for your very gracious and flattering comment. Much appreciated.

  13. Well now, another outstanding poem, flexing its blackened toes into our own soles and souls.

  14. what a sweet poem/ and I can so relate
    thanx friend

  15. I’ve know streets like this. Thank you for taking me back, Sam.

  16. wow, thanks for linking…

    always enjoy your style, keep it up.

  17. Great stanza: In boots lined with bread bags
    I walked on the edge
    of every snow-bank that ran their distance
    disguised as mountains

    Love how you mix things up — keep the reader moving forward.

    • zum – came back to add a tune to this post… and, saw I missed your comment from way back. Sorry about that. I’m glad you liked this…. The bread-bad line seemed to hit home with a few… which surprised me… thanks much… hopefully better late than never. =)

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