Chucks


My canvas compatriots are getting worn

and slightly cynical.  They glare at me in

the morning, tongues lolling

laces akimbo

Rubber runners round the edges poking out accusingly

My footwear is unimpressed by me.

“You swore, Willie, you were going to stop wearing us when you turned thirty.

Because back in the nineties, that poet, the one that kept flirting with your girlfriend, he wore Chucks

and he was 32 and a douche.”

I can’t fault my shoes logic,

the guy was a douche,

and his Chucks haughtily pointed out his refusal to conform,

a veneer no thicker than his too white canvas Converse,

sticking out from his feet like boats.

I’ve thought of hanging them up.  Getting respectable shoes.

Something in brown or black, slightly tapered at the edges.

Maybe some sneakers with an air pump, anonymous in their individualtiy and high price.

But somewhere in those battered black All Stars there’s a dream

the energy of a kid on a Steve Caballero board he could barely ride

and the punk aesthetic, whatever the fuck that is.

So I pull them on, lace them up, despite their contentions

and ask them to take me forward, one more day

and tomorrow, dear God, tomorrow, I’ll get some Hush Puppies.

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