Mike James

My Wife’s Shoes

Thankfully, my feet are small or her feet are large or both of us have feet slightly out of proportion to the rest of oh-so-very typical bodies. We don’t complete each other in the way of puzzles, myths, and romantic movies. No, we are the near miss most couples are. But as for our shoes…they commingle happily in our closet and on our feet. She wears my flip flops. I wear her sandals. She looks formal and very British banker in my black wingtips. I clean room after room in her flats. And some nights we turn the radio to ballroom music and I pretend to be Fred Astaire, led by Ginger Rogers for a change, and dance in high heels in reverse.


Mike James was born in the red clay hills of South Carolina and grew up amid tobacco, cotton fields, and closing textile mills.  His eleven poetry collections include Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog, 2017), My Favorite Houseguest (Futurecyle, 2017), Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag, 2016), and Past Due Notices: Poems 1991-2011 (Main Street Rag, 2012). He has served as an associate editor of both The Kentucky Review and Autumn House Press, as the publisher of Yellow Pepper Press, and as the Waneta T. Blake Visiting Professor at the University of Maine, Fort Kent. After years spent in Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, he now makes his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his large family and a large assortment of cats.