The Poetry Kit
His Dresden Boots
Troubled below air force relics,
grandfather’s flying boots buckled
with a certain red weight. They’d long lost
their tan and absorbed an umber wrinkle,
a day burnt from its morning peace.
I remember the embers in his eyes as he said
they were both on the floor and on his feet forever,
that he would never wear nor remove them again.
And that they talked to him. While he confessed,
heat flushed his scored face
like the leather’s oiled-in penance,
like wood stained of pierced palms.
Like being judged.
I know what he meant now, how a man
carries his steps like stones to the grave.
How ears hear from far away — sounds
they know were there. How aftermath,
the silence and stillness, stay with you,
just like souvenirs.