I live in Fairfield, Connecticut with my wife and try to write a little poetry when not visiting my children in Boston, Philadelphia and California. I teach special education and English at Joel Barlow High School. I've had poems in The Southern Review, Rattle, Cortland Review and elsewhere. www.jackpowers13.com/poetry/
Perfectly Good Shoes
It started with a pair of desert boots I begged for seventh-grade Christmas
that arrived weeks after everyone stopped wearing them. I was spoiled.
A billion people in China were desert-bootless – I didn't care. My mother
started wearing them around the house, then for short trips to town.
Soon she added my discarded denim bell bottoms with red pinstripes,
my leather belt with the dancing bears buckle. My teen years were haunted
by mismatched versions of my old selves – my mother's pale, smiling face
perched on top. Even after I moved out, married, had kids, I never knew
what mishmash of my old tie-dyed T-shirts, disco shoes, madras shorts
or wide-collared floral shirts would show up at Christmas or Fourth of July
along with news of successful classmates and clipped obits of neighbors
I never knew I'd known. When she died, I emptied her closets
and gave it all to a Greek church across town. But on cold mornings
I see the frayed arm of my Christmas sweater toss the paper on my lawn.
At night my tattered ninja pants take my movie ticket and tear it in half.
And my laced-together desert boots dangle from a wire downtown.
First published in SNReview
©2016 Jack Powers
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