The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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answering why my toes look the way they look 

because: i wanted cool shoes  
because: Mom could only afford what was on the clearance table 
because: what was on the clearance table was leftovers, odd sizes below mine because: i balled my toes—turned each foot into a fist—to make sure the cool shoes fit 
because: i never said ‘no’ when the shoe seller checked the fit by jabbing at the toes and pulling on  the tongues, and asked, “feel ok?” 
because: the shoe seller hadn’t been paid or trained or incentivized to speak up about the potential  podiatric effects of my decisions  
because: even when Mom pushed away the shoe seller and pressed at the toes just like they had done  and asked me privately, didn’t i want something more comfortable, something i hadn’t already  outgrown, I dropped my eyes shook my head 
because: i had red hair and wet the bed and was overweight and had glasses, dirty clothes 
because: no matter how many toenails fell off, no matter how many socks went red with blood— i kept my toes curled up, my mouth shut

Garrett Mostowski is co-pastor of Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit, Michigan. His work has been published in Christian Century, Geez Magazine, and the Princeton Theological Review, among others. In his free time, he co-hosts and produces Textual Intercourse a weekly podcast exploring scripture, meaning, and truth.

Discover more from Garrett Mostowski .