ode to the Old Woman in the Shoe

There once was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many health issues she didn’t know what to do.

From the white hair on her head to the arthritic joints in her swollen toes that bent in odd overlapping shapes like desperate prisoners trying to climb over each other seeking escape from their confinement of pain, arthritic joints that were mysteriously connected to a right foot whose contour she barely recognized anymore.

From the small red knobs poking out the top of aching disfigured fingers in both hands she once thought to be beautiful like her father’s hands had been, to the true personification of the legendary Achilles heel connecting that same strange right foot to one of two legs held together with artificial knees easily identified by long scars.

From the ugly shades of brown, crusty, smelly skin patches under her sagging breasts that retreated in different directions following their loss of the Battle of the Bras, to the deep wrinkles now covering both sides of her face just like the trenches on her grandmother’s face had done.

From taking an inordinate amount of time in a public restroom because of kidneys not interested in competing with younger bladders to being overlooked by adolescent pharmacists who preferred serving younger customers first regardless of their place in line.

From the perpetually tearing eyes now struggling to discern shapes, colors, depths, and distances to the earring resistant ears engaged in a similar scuffle over distinguishing conversations in noisy restaurants, loud indoor arenas, small family gatherings, even cell phones.

From icy hands and feet at night that could easily be used for injury first aid treatment or be equally effective for use in a Yeti cooler in the summertime to prevent melting chocolate caramel candies…to the gradual loss of the teeth necessary for eating any chewy sweets or, more importantly, popcorn. 

Behold the old woman who still lives in a shoe, but now the shoe is a Croc of shoe.


Slava Ukraini. For the old people.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in ageism, Life, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to ode to the Old Woman in the Shoe

  1. Luanne says:

    Oh, I hear you! This so well describes what it feels like to age into all these aches and pains! Brava and ouch, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wayside Artist says:

    I feel your every ache and pain as every movement seems an effort. Even napping is exhausting!

    “What a drag it is getting old.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JosieHolford says:

    And how you’ll have to write the counterpoint: an ode to the joys, pleasures, and relief of old age. All the things you no longer have to worry about. Or maybe just take another nap.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Aaahhh, it will come to all of us who are lucky enough to get there. Keep rocking those crocs.

    Liked by 2 people

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