Friday, December 23, 2011

A Pair of Shoes

The immediate cause
Is always the lesser reason
The slighter insult, which
Might be the better borne or
    shrugged off
If only justice operated in
    greater things
And made more common what others
   can the more easily afford

Everywhere dignity costs more than it
     used to
Cobbling has always been
     immigrant work
They come in the middle of the night
    to set up shop
Each year they speak a new language
And then when the landlord raises the rent
They disappear with your boots

Who can afford to have their shoes fixed anyway?
Isn't it really just an affectation,
An ostentatious display of that ancestral virtue
Which brought their current fortune?
What would you wear while you left them?
If I were rich I would give them more than you have
If I were God I could make a better heaven
Anyone could
Ain't that a shame, as old Fats Domino used to say
                  Anybody remember him?
How many shoes you think you wear out walkin' to New Orleans?
The quoted cost is never the price of purchase
Of anything, and how could you know
What it set me back?

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