March 11, 2017

Second Hand Shoes by David Gross

Hand-me-downs from his brother,
one with a hole in its sole.

So he'd cut some cardboard,
placed it inside to keep his foot dry.

At a birthday party, kids were told
to leave shoes at the backdoor.

As he yanked his off, wet
corrugated paper dangled from his sock.

But a few days later in shop class
Mickey O'Keefe called him over,

removed one of his beat-up loafers,
thanked him for the idea and pointed

proudly at the pink linoleum
trimmed neatly into its insole.

David Gross' most recent collection is Little Egypt (Flutter Press). He lives with his wife in a one-hundred-year-old farmhouse near the center of the Big Muddy watershed in southern Illinois. He's ready for baseball season.

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