Wednesday, June 16, 2010


To walk in other's shoes,
it is to stories and poems
that I turn.

I enjoy giving
myself up, living through
their lies, loves, and laughter.

Strangers in history,
like surrogate ancestors,
are my touchstones.

Sometimes, so scared,
I edge down passages
in my imagination.

While my true ancestors,
Scottish fullers all, walked
on wool for their trade.

Would we have sat, sharing
stories, soothing our feet
around a fire pit?

My mind rebels
at a world of one people, one faith,
but it was so.

And then I return
to my life, full of sunlight
and deeper shadows.

I adopt a persona,
and write a story
not mine, and yet true.

Who shall I be today,
and what paths, false and true,
shall I tread with you?

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to the Walk a Mile prompt at We Write Poems.


  1. I remember clearly, all these decases later, the first time I went inside a book; recall feeling surprised (& a little disappointed) to suddenly find myself, some indefinite time later, still sitting on the couch.

    Well done.

  2. Ah yes, this is definitely what is so good about writing poetry or prose -- the sharing of stories, some that happened, some that did all true! (and I thank you for visiting my blog!)

  3. Mr. Walker, I found myself nodding when you said it is through stories and poems that you walk in another's shoes! Right on. "Who shall I be today?" is the question for every day. Enjoyable poem!

  4. Reading books, poems, essays—the ultimate armchair travelers. Love the ambling manner that this poem proceeds on its way.

    It is when you write:

    While my true ancestors,
    Scottish fullers all, walked
    on wool for their trade.

    —that the poem takes on a fuller meaning.
    Wonderful poem.

    Linda Frances

  5. Ron, Mary, Diane, and Linda, thank you all for commenting on my poem. I didn't stay true to the prompt in that I didn't write from the perspective of someone drastically different from myself, but I was inspired nonetheless.

    Ron, I love that loss of time inside of a book. Thank you.

    Mary, thanks. I'm glad you got my point about truth in fiction and non-fiction.

    Diana, thanks. I was having a hard time coming up with a last stanza; I'm glad it resonated.

    Linda, thanks. I love that word, "ambling" - maybe I'll work it into a revision. "Fuller meaning" - ha, ha, - thank you for getting the personal element I wove into the poem, and my little pun on my name.

  6. Mr. Walker, thank you for the thoughtful comments on my blog. You are an insightful poet.

    About this poem - I have been reading two series of books by Alexander McCall Smith, who lives in Scotland and was raised in Zimbabwe. Didn't have a clue about Scotland's "one faith" tradition, and now you are writing about it!@

    Funny part is, I was raised Anglican (Mayflower stock, ugh) and understand that country - religion mindset. Great work.


  7. Amy, thank you for your kind comments and praise. I enjoyed reading your poems. Thank you for returning the favor. I hope I'm right about Scotland's one faith tradition - that might be poetic license.

  8. That is the magic of words -- the ability to enter into the mind of someone else. I love the question embedded in your final stanza.

    Some of my ancestors are also Scottish, but I know very little about them. I've been wanting to research them.


  9. Nicole, thank you for your kind comments, particularly about that last stanza. I know my surname is Scottish in origin, but I don't know much more than that. I'll have to do some research as well.