BY HARRY WAITZMAN
Papa loved Thom McAn shoes
so much, he bought seven pairs
at a time, carried them home and laid
them out on the dining room table
for all to admire, shining black and brown,
no scuff marks, tongues hanging out clean,
no stinky foot smell, soles unmarked.
His mother had seven children in Poland
and one pair of shoes. Each child wore shoes
one day a week. Papa said he always had
Thursday’s shoes. He left his village for America
where the smell of leather inspired fantasies.
He would wear shoes at all hours
of the day and every day of the week.