Even though we talked for hours
I never caught your name. You left
nothing but an unpaid bill, a phone number
scribbled on the back – cobbler
on Peter Street, said they had been
expecting a call – your shoes are ready,
beautifully cosseted in scarlet silk.
I tried them on, a little tight
and not my style, name on the docket
tantalising yet impossible to read.
To break them in I wore them home,
toes squeaking. When I took them off
they tried to escape, tip-toeing barefoot
down the stairs. Caught them as they slipped
the latch, nailed them to the floor and fell asleep.
I dreamt of you in mask and stripey top.
When I woke the shoes were gone. A note
in a familiar hand, flutter of heel-prints
on my wooden floors. As luck would have it
a grainy photo, their side-profile posed
reluctantly in an upstairs room. For weeks
I scoured the neighbourhood. Posters
and handbills – no shoe unturned.
Lost – never worn – one careful owner.
Nothing but leopard prints and patent leather.
Until tonight. They turned up on my step
and explained, how they had walked out when
they found another shoe-box under your bed.
First published in Skylight 47