by Paul Hostovsky
I love a good shoe poem so I go
to the shoe store to find the name
of that metal thing they measure
your foot with. Now this is a good shoe,
says Murray the shoe salesman, wearing
a name tag and a tie, and holding up a shoe.
I don’t want the shoe, I want the name
of the thing (and I’m looking around for it
on the floor) but I don’t want to just charge in
and put the question straightaway without
a little foreplay, a little schmoozing, you know?
So I say okay, and he starts looking around
and I assume he’s looking around for the thing,
and I think to myself, how perfect, how fitting
if it gets named without my having named it,
because sometimes you can do that in a good
poem. Hey Jerry, says Murray, where’s the
Brannock? And he gives me a smile like I just
picked his pocket and got a slug which I try
in the poem, but the poem keeps spitting it out.