The Cobbler
Jeanne Murray Walker (bio)

You ring his bell. He climbs from the basement,
where he’s spent the morning. Hasn’t spoken
a word to anyone.
Now: Okay. Replacement
heels, new soles.
You bow together over broken
boots. You’re embarrassed at how homely,
rotten they’ve grown. You almost feel despair.
He listens, strokes them: they might be holy.

He brushes away the dust. Your eyes blur,
perhaps with love of boots.

We’re dust, we’re all
dust—it’s where we came from and to what
we will return. Above his bench, his awls,
his busy knives and scissors, he keeps this note:

Pilgrim, there’s no path. You are breaking
unbroken ground. You find the path by walking.

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