A poor boy’s song
sings from my father’s shoes
in strains of hunger and rock soil.
The lyrics of a church hymn
play across scuffed leather
where a young boy stood tall
to reach Jesus in harmony
with his mother’s voice.
Tightly tied shoe laces try
to fill the gap between moving on
and the pain of a motherless child
watching six feet of dirt separate
him from the warmth of gentle arms.
My father’s shoes are an empty nest
where secrets roost and tears never dry.
I talk to the ghosts, who linger there,
but silence eats each bread crumb I drop
until unanswered questions erase footprints
that will never lead me home.
©Susie Clevenger 2016