I Never Lived With My Father
Today I’m wearing my father’s shoes.
Gray McGregor casuals with Velcro straps,
that were given to me when he died.
He stored them in shoetrees and kept neatly
in his landscaped closet.
I’m afraid that when I take them off, they’ll get thrown
into my pile with the stray tie
that’s slipped down in wrinkles and disuse.
I want to feel different in my father’s shoes.
Maybe I will osmotically become a golfer
or acquire a knowledge of how to fix jukeboxes.
I search my arm but the tattoo of his name has not appeared.
There should be some connection to these shoes.
I made a ceremony out of not putting them on until I was ready.
I handled the smooth leather and admired the clean soles.
Nope. Nothing there.
Another gravestone that doesn’t talk back.
I made up a story to tell his wife about how I felt
the first time that I wore them. She looked confused
and said, “Isn’t that strange, he never got to put them on.”