You were the second thing people looked at. Obstinately you poked out of my well worn shoes. I tried to curl you in, hide my shame from their judging eyes and taunts. Torn jeans spoke of liberation. You spoke only of penury. I trudged home each evening, hoping that you'd hide away. Hoping to stub you in, but you persisted. Put a foot in the door, reveal the conflict inside. From one to the other, dig my past up. Why didn't I wear shoes that restrained you? Bind you and curtail my will like Chinese girls with bleeding toes. Toe the line instead of walking my own. Ungrateful spawn in constant need. I carried a burden too heavy to bear. Shoes have a price to pay they said. Submission disguised as love. You will not buy my will, or buy my love. I walked my own road, barefoot. Bleed my feet than bleed my life.