I’m about to tell you
something only my cobbler knows–
I am hell on shoes,
though you couldn’t tell
from the outside–
uppers only lightly stretched,
leather’s shining
buckles straps tassels
buffed and shining.
But the heels– that’s different.
I’ve worn through the heel caps
straight through to the steel
half blasted caps
crazy glued back on
for whatever nominal protection they afford
as if they’d prevent the jar of steel spikes
scraping on concrete,
like nails on chalkboard
like molars that miss that piece of gum.
I should really find the time
for an inexpensive heel repair
before it frays, skites, snaps.
But that extra half hour on either end
seems like too much
in the moment
until it’s too late.
And that’s not even as bad
as what I do to the soles–
worn too thin
at the heaviest, weight-bearing points
pushing tarsals into pavement
jarring ache all the way
up to the knees
the hips the back the whole.
Leaving repairs and maintenance
for too long too late
until the too thin sole is pierced
by glass or rusty metal.
The uppers hide the blisters
the callus the low back ache
the throbbing knees.
Worn to hell on the underside
until I lose a heel and limp around
to find a last minute replacement,
next in the line of discarded
moments of breakdown.


2 thoughts on “Shoes

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