Gypsy Blood by Wesley Scott McMasters

shoes
.
Gypsy Blood
            for my father
.
I wear shoes that are worn out
            soles worn thin
            dirty
            leather cracked
            creases clear
.
           sometimes even a gap through which
            I can feel rain or snow
.
I wear shoes that I don’t wash or shine
            I let them soak in the shit in the city streets
            feel the ocean water
            or the Gulf of Mexico
                        a place my father dreams about
                        even when he is there
.
I dig these shoes out from the back of my closet
            like pulling bones from a grave
            blowing the dust off
.
            stepping in piss
            in a corner of Venice
.
            where as a kid
I always dreamed of going
.
            finally walking those streets
            wearing jeans that made me
look like my gypsy ancestors
the Romani who still live
sometimes
outside of the city
            a purple button down
            blazer bleached from Italian sun
            and shoes
            that will never forget why
            the soles are worn thin
            and the leather
            is cracked
.
            or the moment when she kissed me
for the first time
            in ten years
            or ten days
.
            or the moment when I hugged my father
            for the first time
            in ten years
            or ten days
.
            maybe the first time I ever saw him cry
            and definitely the first time
            I cried with him
.
            as I watched my grandfather’s body
            weak and frail
            carried out to be burned
                        to be made into dust
.
            my father told me
during a call to him
from a diner
in Poughkeepsie
that we have gypsy blood
            like my grandfather
            and my great grandfather
.
maybe this is why
my leather lasts
.
soaked in blood
my blood
my father’s blood
gypsy blood
.
McMasters
Wesley Scott McMasters is a poet and professor in the eastern part of Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains, where he lives with his dog, Poet (who came with the name, he swears).
.
.
.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s