My shoes, fallen foot soldiers,
lie helter-skelter in the closet
tired and heavy with dust;
a few are in proper pairs,
most are apart from their mates.
These wise old combatants,
soul weary and worn-soled,
uppers scuffed and bruised,
will soldier on when asked.
Brown cordovans are new recruits,
untested bar a few skirmishes;
bright and stiff with newness,
they’ll go forth to their assigned duty.
My Marine Garrison Boots
(Bates 50501, Lightweight),
stand tall together at the ready.
The black patent-leather shoes
go annually under dress blues
to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball,
and stand at attention to the Halls of Montezuma
or dance to Waltzing Matilda.
When my loafers see weekend liberty
they don’t loaf about
but march to an energetic stride.
O, the tales they could tell
if their gaping mouths had tongues!
The mangled metal eyelets
and frayed lace-ends of my sneakers
are the destructive work of my parrot,
a Military Macaw.
But, ah, the light tan Bruno Magli
ankle boots, soft as gloves,
bought pre-owned but never worn;
the finest leather -- so princely!
Ah, the Bruno Maglies.
published 16 February 2011