Mike’s Got Shoes
No stickball, jacks, no time for games of tag
just walk the starvling streets and look for work,
run an errand for the Turk,
for the banker sweep a corner, find a rag
and get a penny,
just one lost among too many.
A penny buys the baby milk.
'Fraid Ma will never dress in silk.
Old eyes watch from a grown man’s face,
a child’s body small and wiry.
Hands are cut and callused, hunger’s fiery,
ignored but never missing from the race,
riding always in the belly,
turning thin legs into jelly.
but it’s no good to stop and cry.
No one luckier’s passing by.
Jacob yells and asks his brother for a hand
to fill a basket with the broken bits he’s found
Otto doubts the use, his mouth turned down.
Frankie’s dreaming that he’s playing in a band.
Who’ll run twenty blocks to check the news?
There might be work uptown, and Mike’s got shoes.
Depression era photo prompt provided by One Stop Poetry. Source Link