When is one boot without the other? Pining at night for its symmetrical opposite, ‘til light spits through eyelets, finds a dry tongue unnaturally folded. When does one boot glide through a window to land pointing skywards? When will the man in the barn lift his head from the bale, contemplate his feet, one sock stiff and muddied? A boot flies with some grace when it’s hollow, his wife has discovered. Let him bed with the chickens. Let him limp moss-eyed into the yard seeking the partner boot. Let him recollect its rude removal in the blood-cold kitchen, where he made a grab, c’mere mi beauty, his covert winnings tumbling from the sweaty stowage of that upturned hoof. Let him remember her words: one more time, Zachary. His vow: one last win to fix everything. From the house, the smell and crackle of frying. Of unlaced leather. Of never again.
Linda Grierson-Irish