They're simple shoes. Foam and plastic. Eight dollars a pair. Bought one spring or another in a burst of optimism, then hidden beneath winter coats and backpacks in a hallway closet. Until.
Until the heat, bringing with it fields of berries to pick, lakeshore boat races, sidewalk strolls, garden waterings. Then, they become our staple, our trusty companion in shades of purple, green, and pink. They take us across the river, down the street, over the yard, through the screen door. They are the beat of our summer: flip-flop, flip-flop.