At the bottom of the wardrobe – actually below
the ground – next to the roots
of a beech that will yet become a wardrobe
there they are – my father’s shoes.
Black, worn-out, made of thin leather, two dry plums
wherein father’s little twigs twitch, his cracking ankles.
Those were his first shoes that I can remember.
Naturally, not his first pair of shoes ever.
He never took them off, they were almost grown
into his skin, so alive, fruitlike, mineral.
Designed for summer and winter.
It never even crossed his mind to replace them
with new ones.
A family of cockroaches – among other – lived
in the wardrobe, a squadron of ants
and plant lice. Those shoes were like Noah’s ark
with little domestic parasites
carrying them from one day into another.
One day mother grabbed those shoes by their very
delicate ears and threw them outside.
But father did not object, on the contrary he bought
a new pair of ordinary men’s shoes.
Those first black shoes with pulled-up ears,
they went into the woods
with no sense of defeat. Just as father had announced
years ago: I had enough of
everything, I will go to the woods.
They became earth, a little tree, maybe even
a bush with bitter fruits.
Those shoes wherein Father’s daughters grew
along with many other unbridled sentences.