To the Woman Who Shoplifted My Black Dansk Clogs 

To the woman who shoplifted my black Dansk clogs
from the consignment store where I sometimes browse –
because maybe there’s a sweater
that belonged to someone who
changed their style or size, divorced, moved, or took a new job,
and so those stripes no longer suited her,
and sometimes bring a few items to sell,
like my black Dansk clogs,
because I imagine they will step into new stories
in the lives of other women who, choosing them,
will feel that little shiver of delight
the way I did when I first found them —

When I returned to collect my portion of the sale price
for the three things I had consigned:
that grey jacket (airport, impulse, last trip to see my father)
that turquoise scarf (gift shop, Santa Fe art museum, desert colors)
and those black Dansk clogs (neighborhood shoe store, a day needing armor)
the clerk, finding no record of a transaction,
and no actual clogs left on the shelf,
concluded that someone had stolen them.

I felt surprised for a moment — strangely light —
but not violated.
And instantly began to imagine
my clogs on the feet of their new owner,
and to wonder why she took them.

I would have given them to you if I had known you needed them.
And if it wasn’t desperation but the thrill of transgression
that drove you, or even if it was just a prank,
that’s ok too.

I hope, with their blocky weight,
they shield your arches from fatigue and your toes from harm.
I hope they look sharp with your jeans and thick socks.
I hope you relish the power of that clumpy sound their wooden soles make
when you stride into a room.

As my mother and grandmother used to say,
wear them in good health.
It’s a fair trade –
you got the clogs and I got the story.