Barefoot In The Streets
Almost all the socks in the drawer
are variants of tan, beige, or taupe,
light and dark but never with a
distinct pattern, and never, ever argyle.
But on this day his feet were bare.
The new loafers fit too large.
Walking along the sidewalk
the loafer on his right foot slips off,
then, not more than five steps further,
his left shoe comes off.
What the hell?
A city bus passes on the other side
of the street, empty except for a driver
who shakes his head at the man
hobbling along the uneven, hot sidewalk,
noting that he has left his shoes behind
and seems to have no obvious intention
of retrieving them.
The bus pulls away with a hiss of the brakes.
The driver has seen it all before.
What the hell, indeed.
Barefoot, the man could not keep pace with
the bus; he couldn’t even if he wore shoes.
Of course, he wasn’t trying to.
Stepping over curbs is a big challenge
walking shoeless through the city as
the bottoms of his feet are not calloused
or rough to any degree, as, say, a dog’s
might be. They are smooth.
Trash, soggy debris and worse coagulate
along the curbs and grates, best not
Arriving at the destination his feet
begin to cool on the marble foyer.
It’s just as well he isn’t wearing socks.