Boots

By Mia Sara

I.

 

I want boots.

 

I want black, thigh-hugging,

three-inch platforms

with a lethal stiletto.

 

I want laces, triple rows,

and studs, and buckles

that jangle with every footfall

onto rain-slick pavement,

up the fire stairs, and out

onto the crunchy tar of the roof.

 

I want to stand in my boots

and survey the roof-scape,

the water tanks,

the steaming grates,

in the chill November air,

to know the solitary thrill

of the urban early riser,

unseen and godlike

over the dozing populace.

 

It would be good if there were sequins

somewhere,

and fur, real or fake,

it makes no difference,

it is all my Golden Fleece,

my highwayman’s cloak,

my mantle, my cape,

my transformational pelt.

 

I am growing hooves.

 

 

II.

 

I need the boots because

it was never my plan to be the go-to gal

for the Kleenex,

the Band-Aid,

the lost gray sock.

 

Stock the pantry,

stock the fridge,

check there is always an extra roll

of toilet paper

and a bar of soap.

 

I need the boots,

the fur, the spangles,

so that when I am crouched

on the dry grass

at the edge of the playing field

the other flag football mommies

won’t mistake me

for one of them,

and my son, now eleven,

will recognize

his monster from afar.

 

I am scared of mommies,

scared of all that

preening smugness,

needy, greedy martyrs,

organized, efficient,

toting snacks, and water, and iPhones,

wearing sensible

low-heeled shoes.

 

Show me a woman

who is galvanized by motherhood

and I

will show you

ugly,

sad,

unglorious,

footwear.

 

I am growing hooves.                                                                                                                        

 

 

III.

 

Motherhood. What a trip.

The rooftop is windy,

it is a long way down,

without the proper attire.

 

My daughter was born

at the kitchen door

at three a.m. the morning

of my thirty-seventh birthday.

Boom-shaka-laka-laka,

boom, boom, boom,

out she came,

because she wanted to,

and that is how she is.

Ferocious usurper,

splendid sovereign.

 

Her brother before her took

his own sweet time,

mop-headed dreamer,

swaggering Romeo.

 

His birth was

the beginning of me,

and hers, the beginning

of the end of me.

 

Knowing this, do you think

I love them less

than the proper mommies?

The mommies who

organize,

carpool,

volunteer,

and set healthy boundaries.

Mommies who call the school to complain,

and barge,

and bustle,

and feel

fulfilled.

 

Mommies who actually enjoy

playing games?

 

I am a sore loser,

but I am hollowed out with love for my children,

their eyes, cheeks,

knotted manes of honey-colored

tangy sweetness

at the backs

of their furry necks.

 

I am growing hooves.

 

 

IV.

 

The boots, the binding,

the trailing feathers,

kinky camouflage of my inevitable decay.

 

Inside, I am being slowly eaten.

Every ass wiped, tear shed, lesson learned,

mess cleared, squabble mediated, door slammed, game endured,

little shreds of my flesh, peeled, picked, exposing the gristle,

the blood, the still-beautiful bones.

 

“Please pardon our appearance while we are under construction.”

 

The scaffolding has stood these past eleven years,

and it will stand,

the filthy plastic sheeting flapping in the wind,

and passersby will stop seeing it, stop wondering what lies beneath,

and when the time comes,

when those who have made and then broken me

are properly formed and grown, and ready to jump,

it will come down.

The heavy metal framework will loosen

and plummet, the sturdy wooden planks they trod upon

will slip and slide

down the ghost of the edifice and crack the cement below,

and dust will rise and mushroom

and reach the tops of the buildings surrounding

and settle like snow on

my new shoulders, my shiny flanks,

my hooves, front and back.

 

No soft, bitter, lonely,

grasping doormat.

Not a crone, not a wizened

sexless toothless remainder,

waiting in line at Whole Foods Market

with a single doughnut

and a cup of tea.

 

I am growing hooves,

and a pelt,

and a whip-hard tail.

 

I am a centaur,

naked, unashamed,

and ready for the road.

 

___

Born and raised in New York City, Mia Sara made a reluctant move to Los Angeles to facilitate her career as an actress in the film and television industry. Her acting credits include Legend, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Time Cop, Queenie, A Stranger Among Us, Jack And The Beanstalk: The Real Story, and many others.

Now retired after twenty-five years, she has taken up poetry to stave off insanity. Her poetry has appeared in The Dirty Napkin, The Kit-Cat Review, and Cultural Weekly.


One Response to “Boots”

  1. adeshkaur says:

    Ahhhh Mia!

    You’re killin’ me here. This is a brilliant, intimate, scary genius, epic poem.

    I adore your work and you.

    All applause,
    Adesh