Wednesday, October 1, 2008



I saw your boots at the door.
For years, I thought they
belonged to your father.
I didn’t know your friend
had given you his own boots
to wear when you were ill.

Whose coat did you wear?
Was it yours, or did it belong
to one of your neighbors?
Seeing only the memory of it,
cut black in a triangle corner,
it was hard for me to tell.

Studying your boots
over the shoulders of your admirers,
I noticed perfect scratches on them,
made by thorny weeds
that did not impede your daily walks,
nor hinder your getting well.

I never spoke the words to my companion,
- With his boots, I’ll start my own journey -
but leaning into her,
I saw the image of what I was thinking
painted on her face
in illuminations of ochre and pearl.

Can I borrow your borrowed boots
to trample down the weeds growing
up all around me?

Can I wear them
to walk myself well again?


Anonymous said...

There's such an ease and depth to this. Almost like the scratched leather itself. Comfortable and worn.

blue possum said...

Simply amazing...I have chills.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Jason - I wrote this poem after my daughter and I saw A. Wyeth's exhibit in Philadelphia. This painting was the first in the the door. I thought N.C. had done this work, so I was surprised. Ergo, I started by saying:

I saw your boots at the door.
For years, I thought they
belonged to your father.

Many thanks for coming by, my friend. :)

Blue Possum - thanks so much! I know you have read this one before, since you are one of my "followers" (haha) But, it is always so good to read your remarks. Love seeing you here. :)

trooping with crows said...

Dark, haunting, forboding...

Kind, beautiful and moving.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Trooping With Crows - You honor me in the brevity of your words. Thank you for being so loyal a follower, lo these many years. Hang in there with me!

Hans Ford said...

what a person of the world you must be,whether(or all)physically,mentally ,or spiritually thank you ever so much for the ride.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Hans Ford - You are welcome. I feel honored that you find some little thing to hold on to, think about, or meditate over in my work. What better compliment for a poet/writer? Thank you.