Lusitania Shoes
by Michael Brett

Shoes tell your story
In silence, with open leather mouths
That give away your income and your age.

They reveal if you walk upright,
Have plantar fasciitis,
Are a desk worker or a postman.

You turn your back, remove them,
They gather as if dropped by
A hermaphrodite rushing giant millipede
Around water fountains in changing rooms,
Mosque hallways.

All there are as still and stationary
As the hunted dare be when stalked.

Their jaws are dark shadows waiting for what comes next:
The swift end, bagged up like a funeral at sea,
Dropped into supermarket charity recycling bins

As once they were lost

Around the Lusitania's empty back row stern
Curving downwards, through the sea wrack fronds, the fish
And the chandeliers.

There, each shoe lies on the Atlantic Shelf, deposited
Like a shark's egg casing,
A kind of dream of what could be-
And what was once- beneath the lost shards of distant sunlight
Falling like fractured chain mail

On old shoes.

Copyright © 2012 - Michael Brett
Published: 10/11/12   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem