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Cleats | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

The way I walk these days the tips
of my soles and the edge of my heels
wear out too fast for a man with children.

So I tell Rocco, cobbler nonpareil,
“Tack on four steel cleats,
two in front, two in back”

so I can walk home between
two full shopping bags
and whatever pride I can summon.

All four blocks of concrete,
I’ll keep those cleats from clicking.
Decades ago I wore cleats

as big as doubloons;
I struck them so hard sparks
flew from the sidewalk.

You bet all the girls
in high school knew
a man was walking behind them.

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