with apologies to Walt Whitman
O Sandal! my Sandal! the summers we have fared, Your sole is cracked from weathering, your tender core laid bare, The time is near, thy knell I hear, my friends and family cheering, While follow I the steady thong, thy strength alight in song.
But O heart! heart! heart! O the footprints so well tread, Where on the deck my sandals lie, Fallen cold and dead.
O Sandal! my sandal! Would that thou saw the field; Rise up—for you the sun does shine—for you the laughter peeled. For you fresh air and barbecues—for you the night's carousing, For you I called, springtime warming, eager toes a-stretching,
Here Sandal! dear Sandal! My hand beneath your heel! It is some dream that on the deck, You've fallen, cold and dead.
My Sandal does not answer, it sole is cracked and still, My Sandal does not feel my hand, it has no pulse nor will, With spring's blooms here—summer's close behind, From tearful trip I come, for new footwear to find;
Exult O trees, and sing O birds! But I with mournful tread, Walk the deck my Sandals lie, Fallen, cold and dead.
June 4th, 2004 – May 18th 2014
May they rest in pieces.