The New Shoeshiner

I cut my teeth
on a pair of shoes
a blind man wears

knowing this makes failure
and success meaningless

blind his whole life he says
how he imagines they shine
through my cowardice
he must feel
I can’t tell

but even black
polished smooth enough
gives back light

he was told
he says and feels
the dull coins out

holds my hand
to place them in my palm

and walks away
along the dusty street

his silver cane
tapping before

each step

Featured art: Shoeshine – Mexico
Watercolor on paper, 14″ x 21″ by Thomas W Schaller.

Image used with permission from the artist.