We May Be Better Off Not Knowing the Details


This item was posted to our faculty listserve yesterday:

“A pair of navy blue men’s dress slacks were found outside between Rike and Allyn halls. If you are missing them, please email me.”

The item about the lost men’s slacks reminded me that about 30 years ago, I wrote a poem about the solitary shoes that one sees with somewhat surprising regularity along the berms of roads.

The Cordovan Laborer’s Boot

It stands upright

beside the interstate,

with several hundred acres

of winter wheat between it

and the nearest farmhouse.

It looks nicely broken in,

not worn–its laces loosened

and its tongue bent forward

as if it had been removed

and set down with some care.

It is one of that scattered

tribe of shoes that gather

on the berms, hoping perhaps

to catch the eye of a sock

in need of succor or, even yet,

a glimpse of the mate

that should by now be counted

as hopelessly lost.


3 thoughts on “We May Be Better Off Not Knowing the Details

  1. and I also meant to ask, do students still have the wonderful leisure and support that is absolutely required to become a poet these days? Or are we mostly slamming them into computer programming classes (and the like) so that they can survive in the outside world.

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