He hopped too much and he kicked the stone too far
the insole buckle had to rip off and show a scar.
The boy’s steps were conspicuously fiddly now
and his pace back home lost it’s form and trace.
Dirt and rubble kissed the open face of the buckle
while an unconscious grip grew on his lips and knuckle.
The hole in his pocket was always accused for his destitute state
and the absence of coins would teach him a lesson today.
Uneasiness began to creep in and play a part
in the long weary trek down to his abode of heart.
No sign of frustration overpowered the air of the trouble
to rupture his joy or the intriguing sway of the dead twig in hand.
As he crossed the blue tarp bus shed on his way
there was a cobbler packing up his tools at the end of the day.
With scars in face and a half-lit cigarette hanging soft
he looked faintly scary in the dark dusk of the coming nightfall.
His unmindful thoughts ignored the cobbler’s haste for the end
as he rushed through the bus shed and turned right into the bend.
The cobbler’s restless eyes caught a glimpse of his tread
and he dropped the tool-case to dramatically reveal the needles and spool.
He called the boy out with a sharp tone in voice,
sharp as the healing prick of the needle he took as choice.
The boy came back fidgeting all the way and slow
with his head stooped down, legs shivering too.
Rugged left hand of the cobbler held the boy’s ankle tight
and he stripped off the torn sandal with a subtle show of might.
Sharpening the needle on a wet and gleaming rock
he gaped at the cost of the shyness in the boy’s innocent eyes.
Within minutes of awkward silence shared in the space
the cobbler repaired the sandal and kept a grinning face.
He shoved the open-toed footwear into the shivering legs
as the boy’s helpless tears reflected the barefoot cobbler’s dirty foot.