Saturday, September 29, 2012

Poetry- Boots


I wanted to wear the boots,
but I did not want them to be
a fashion statement.  I wanted to earn them, to be the kind of person
that wore those boots.

So I tried them on.  To see how they felt.
My mother liked men who wore boots like that.
And I liked my mother.  I felt
useful—  I thought
“A person who wears boots like these ought
to feel at ease with a hammer.”
So I got the boots.  And I got a hammer.
I wanted to be the kind of useful person
who would need a hammer.

I wore the boots
to do
true things—  clean gardens,
and plant seedlings,
and water young shrubs.  To build things.  I remembered my father
with his new boots.  He polished them.  Gave them oil.
He was very proud of those boots!
And I wanted to be proud of my boots too.
I wore those boots
until there were holes in them.
There was a kind of pride in wearing used up boots. 
I was given
the blessing of nature, of necessity,
of use
to buy new ones.

Now, I know I’m going to work
when I pull my boots out. 
And those who pay me
a certain kind of shoe to be worn.  I told my wife,
“It’s like a uniform you have to wear.”
Then I recognized
that I did not want to where these boots every day.  I wanted to be free
from having to wear boots.  That there was a pleasure
in air
playing with your feet.  But, by then it felt strange
not to wear them.

1 comment:

  1. "Wednesday ... I made a shoe ..."

    Dorothy Wordsworth in her journal, June 23, 1800 ... the making of a shoe is mentioned several times in the Journals, in passing, a fact among others -- I ironed, I read Timon of Athens, a letter came from Coleridge, I sat with William in the garden, I worked on a shoe -- for the peripatetic Wordsworths, the shoe made possible the romantic wanderings, lonely as clouds they walked over dales and hills, on the high roads and through the back fields, beside the lake and beneath the trees, in the rain and in the cold ... literature is stitched into the shoe, Dorothy's journals being the true source of inspiration for her brother's lyrical ballads -- there is poetry and there are shoes, and who among us today can make a shoe, except in poetry? ...