Size / / /

The heel is her favorite place

to unwind, but like all of the other

rooms smells less of cowhide

and the tannery

than cumulus and birdsong.

Perhaps it's therefore true, the shoe

has dropped from the sky,

God was maybe loosening His boot

or something

so He could massage His bunions

and it slipped away. (Contra village

gossip, she's never believed in giants

or towering scaffolds of beans.)

At any rate, since their departure

from the mews (expelled, really, to avoid

scandal, there having never been a Mr.

Breadwinner or Paterfamilias), it's home

for the lot of them now.

The kids

love clambering about the top

of the frayed rim, where the foothole

doubles as a chimney and they

can swing, ape-like, from the laces

or slide down the milk-bright tongue

on frosty mornings; only when a storm

threatens does the old woman call

her brood back inside.

By noon, enough English rain has seeped

through the eyelets to fill a myriad of tubs—

hence prompting an impromptu bathday.

But even deep within the recess of the toe

now, resting before inspection, she can still

make out the distinct voice of each tyke

and nipper splashing about, at play

or in conflict.

Drinking her pennyroyal tea,

the old woman only wishes there was room.

for a dozen more.

Robert Borski works for a consortium of elves repairing shoes in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. You can read more of his work in our archives.
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8 Apr 2024

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