Jeffrey McDaniel

Rookie (1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Mannequin Complex


During my formative years,
my mother had this annoying habit
of taking me into shoe stores
and forgetting all about me.

She'd try on heels and pumps,
sandals and beige leather boots,
winking at herself in the mirror,
like she was Cinderella.

I'd crawl into the stockroom
behind the stacks of boxes,
until the last employee clicked
off the lights and headed home.

Then I'd emerge, place a shoe horn
in the palm of my favorite mannequin,
and sleep at her feet gleefully
because she was my flesh and blood.

Submitted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

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