The stamp of your feet,
in shoes two times too big
wiped dirt across the bedroom floor
when they came to rest                   upon the headboard
and stayed.                         The toes, wriggling
for more room, always.
You were always
larger than life to me, tall, narrow face
and you
slept alone.

You wanted to grow
into those shoes,                                                never content
with the soft slippers bought that winter in 84
          before you passed,
but the bourbon had eaten
its way inside. A man withered by years
of consumption                                     with pills, housekeepers,
the ghost of my mother
malcontent. The echoes of rooms built
to house empty furniture, the hollows of your cheek
haunt me still.

I tried those shoes on and they never fit me either, though I wear them sometimes, when I think of your struggle, when I think of you dad. Life was bigger than you, to me you were bigger than life. The American dream of the fifties. If they were mine, if I could wear them, I would.