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A Used-shoe Store

   Rain threatening any moment in the May sky.
In a grungy port town, a used-shoe store.

All the used shoes hung from the eaves, every one of them,
heels worn, leather torn, all repaired as long as possible, trash no longer mendable.
Delicate types whose rundown state you feel all the more keenly,
dated deep rubber shoes,

student shoes covered with coloured patches,
boots that haven’t lost suggestions of power and prestige, children’s shoes,
each in its own way, crossing which ocean routes, these ragtag vessels,
now gathered here, all tired.

Oh, what metaphoric views all this.

Even so I try to find a companion that fits my feet.
Yes I know. Leather soles that have turned gritty with the sweat and foot grease of someone somewhere, the pain of a stud sticking out.

Yes I know. The cold of the water that seeps in, the urge to cry,
the deeply sympathetic words that touch us two, that we the down-and-out can understand in our hearts.