New Shoes

C.J. Carter-Stephenson

Originally published in Blinking Cursor, Issue 5.

They whirl around the club
Like dancing flames,
Each one shimmering
With radiant youth.
In couples or groups,
Their bodies gyrate
With the wild abandon
Of liquor fuelled mirth.
Languishing in a corner
In stark isolation,
Is a blooming flower
With shining eyes.
Streams of men
Try to pluck her away
But their sugary words
Fail to impress -
She will not dance,
Because she's got new shoes.

He floats like a twig
In a river of people,
Battles valiantly
To overcome his pain
In the hope he’ll achieve
A normal speed.
The crowd around him
Glide to and fro,
Flitting between shops
Like toiling bees.
They do not notice
His ambulatory agony
Or the grimace
He gives at every step.
The windows should entice
With their dazzling displays,
But his eyes are blinkered,
Because he's got new shoes.

The rain beats down
On the grubby awning -
Nature's backbeat
To the song of the storm.
The grizzled custodian
Of the compact stall
Huddles at the back
By a rusty gas heater,
Absorbing the warmth
Of its triple bar glow.
His voice is hoarse
From hours of hollering
And his boots have been breached
By uncaring water,
But he sits resolutely,
As the crowds scurry past,
Determined to sell
Pairs of new shoes.

Poetry Divider.

The right of C. J. Carter-Stephenson to be identified as the writer of this poem has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author, or a license permitting restricted copying.