Shoe Shine

by Soyini Liburd

I wanted to ask you to smile.
When I saw you approach me
With your head down,
Staring at the sadness
that was sitting on your worn out
used up
used to be new,
brown shoes.

I tried to see that you were seeing
tired brown shoes too much like you.
But I couldn't see your darkness.
Still, I wished your shadow would smile.
I saw enough to feel.
Somewhere outside the selfish self
that the world had made for me,
so I wouldn't turn into you.
Something I felt wanted something you felt,
To let you up for air.
That something whispered to me,
"Why won't you smile?"

I tried to tell you,
But my lips didn't speak.
Sorry, you were too far away
And you wouldn't hear me anyway
And everything else like that I told myself
To keep my selfish self from reaching out
Finding out, more than I wanted to know
Which was anything_

Don't tell me, only smile for me
Cause my selfish self is troubled by your sadness.

I looked up, and to the side, and saw you
Right next to me,
Dragging tired, sad looking brown shoes
Down, down, down the stony street.
I looked up, and saw you going down
And I wanted to reach out
Touch your shoulder,
Make you look up and see the struggling sunlight
Shining down where I was
but not quite reaching you_
I saw my hand rise,
Thought I was going to stop the tears escaping from
your eyes
But my selfish self, pulled my hand to my wallet,
Sorry, but now you're too close to me.
Don't blame me.
Even your tears are leaving you.
And I don't want them to follow me home
Cause hot tears burn the cold hearts
that walk stony streets_ loving selfish selves.

Still, if only
You would smile for me.
Cause my selfish self is troubled by your sadness.

I can't see you anymore,
Don't want to see what you were seeing,
Don't like your tears following me,
I want to tell them to go home - or make you take them
But you're too far away now
And I'm on the UP Street, can't be going Down
Just to find you.
Someday you will smile for free,
Without me having to be
outside my selfish self.

In the meantime,
Gotta find me somebody,
Somebody who wants some orphan tears,
Cause I can't have them following me home.

I hope the somebody who takes them,
Is the somebody who'll shine your shoes.
Cause I want to ask them to sparkle,
_ like I want to ask you to smile.
Anybody know somebody?
Somebody willing to give up something
_of themselves
to love some little bastard tears?
Anybody know somebody,
that's anybody but me_?

Shoe Shine by Soyini Liburd

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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