On the Ocassion of My Father’s Birthday, born 11 April, 1932

A New Pair

The boy had a new pair of shoes.dad and i

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.

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