No Shoes


Doing homework at the coffeehouse.

tall but stocky, dark blond hair,

in grey hoodie and navy tennis shorts,

bare legs, hairy-blond, no shoes;

well-built, sturdy legs, masculine feet.

Open textbook, pen and pad on table,

fiddling with his tablet underneath.

Looks a little tired, a little bored,

but getting on with it, doing the work.

Reminds me of the kid in Florida

who rode his bike twenty miles to school,

always barefoot, wrote to the president

to protest the college policy requiring shoes—

except that he was thin and slight,

delicate of voice, whereas when this one

speaks his voice is husky, a little hard

to understand because of vague enunciation.

And he slips into flip-flops to exit—

which is cheating, surely.


Copyright 2013

T. Allen Culpepper


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