salvation shoes

 
just before tossing his white tennis shoes
into a green city-managed dumpster
he looked to the heavens and said a quiet prayer
 
barefooted he walked away
having one fewer encumbrance now
and left with only the clothes on his back
 
he spoke louder than he knew
angrier and sadder at how his life had ended
“ended”, he smiled as he heard the word
 
he remembered the white tennis shoes
and the day he bought them,
the day he took his first step in them
 
“first step”, he said aloud.
with that, he remembered his children
as their voices crowded his out
 
returning, the old man rummaged
through the green city-managed dumpster
looking for white tennis shoes
 
placing the shoes on his feet
he smiled, and with a quiet whisper, said…
“salvation comes from the strangest places.”