and in the shop…
“The David Poems, King David of Israel”
Caith Poetry Press;
“My Father’s Pot”
Koo Poetry Press;
There he was, toiling all night long
his leather apron smelt with ink and dye.
He had the loving craftsman’s knack
of getting it just right, how he knew,
with a finger’s slide along the cuff,
its mantra of walking; the soft hills and planes
of moccasin, the suaveness of suede,
and sometimes, a silver slipper’s twinkling brocade.
Because he loved our feet, he knew
the ins and outs of each bump and curve,
the idiosyncrasies of each toe to curl
this way or that and how it mustn’t be curbed.
In the morning, there were rows and rows
of refurbished shoes winking under the gaslight,
all spanky shiny with new laces and dyes,
each crease and fold softened with beeswax,
each eyelet gleaming with a drop of light.
Once, mother had loved him because he knew
how to form her foot and pattern her tread
so that she could walk like a princess all her days.
He had imprinted her mould in the soft template
of a moth’s wing, the underside of mole.
But the kitchen floor became too hard,
her shoes too small and she put them aside
and took to clankering about in clogs.
There they are now, her hard-hammered clogs,
resolute in the chimney nook next to his boots.
One boot lies in the recovery position,
tongue curved wantonly about her toe cap.
The other has laces like skeins, waiting for
the jackass of thumb to untie the knot.