Duck tape.
Just worn, hot duck tape.
Her legs, arms are stringy
Tan like wood
Her skin is oily leather.
She sits under a tree
Outside the Smithsonian
Bags of plastic, nearly busting, surround her
She wears a cheap out fit; magenta shorts, magenta top
I pass by her and catch her face
Mostly hidden by broad sunglasses;
It is hard, beaten
And I know she is younger than she looks.
She doesn't strike me as odd at first:
just another pedestrian, a jogger or something
But . . .
Then, I look down
Round her sun-panned ankles
And . . . her shoes . . .
Are made of duck tape.
They grab my eyes
And keep them as I sit down at a table
I watch her watch traffic
Wondering.
Should I give her money?
(Those aren't proper shoes; I want to give her my own.)
Would that be an inappropriate gesture?
I wonder this
As she just sits there
In her cheap outfit, cheap visor and glasses
And duck tape shoes.

I watch
As she gets up, grabs all her bags
Walks down the streets
In those hot
worn
dirty
sticky
uncomfortable
Duck tape
"Shoes."