Help yourself, she said. Upstairs. Go on,
I’d sooner get rid. After all, she said,
how many shoes does a dead man need?
I found them in a box under his desk,
sorted them for purpose, style and fit.
I took his smart shoes, polished and ready
to wear, a pair of well-worn trainers, his
new slippers. The rest would go the hospice.
Avoiding any mention of fathers and footsteps,
I squeezed my squirreled cache into
a carrier bag and smuggled it out to the car.
Top button undone, black tie loosened,
when I came back in to join the family
she was taking orders for another round of tea.