By Harold Vance
Step Into These Shoes
—Dedicated to the thousands who died at the Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin, Poland.
Inspired by the shoe exhibit at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
Could you walk even a step in these shoes?
Where are the feet that once sought their safety?
They are gone,
Back to the earth,
The Breath of Life exhaled,
The spirits removed.
Is there still life in these shoes?
Once so vibrant and sheltering,
They carried the weight of someone’s world;
These shoes once carried life,
Before it was stolen away,
Perhaps they once carried even the light load of a smile,
Of a skipping,
These dead and dying shoes,
They now hold the weight of sorrow.
They do not tread lightly.
And though presently
These shoes are still,
Stillness is replaced with the jerking of a tear
On it’s staggering journey down a young man’s cheek.
Life is replaced with the hope of preventing further atrocities in the future,
Of clinging to one’s faith in an ever-present, ever-loving God,
In the midst of turmoil and strife.
And motion is replaced with emotion
In the hearts of the people
That these shoes now move.
Harold lives in the midst of the beautiful mountains and streams in New England, and works as a program guide in an alternative high school in Vermont. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Green Mountain College, in Poultney, VT. Harold is very excited and looking forward to his upcoming marriage this summer to Nicole Stoodley.