How did they find out?—he hadn’t complained!
It wasn’t his place. Even if invited to. Especially then.
Paired right there, on the bed while he slept
dreaming of another boy whose mother was alive.
Couldn’t believe it:
laid right by his face, a new pair.
Now he was a boy without a mother
his father had died when he turned two
but today he was given a new pair of shoes
out of that still morning of 1940:
two buster browns, black and white saddle shoes.
My father calmed himself and put on his shoes—
he got up and told himself he’d be a father someday:
and that’s how that day that boy became my own.