A Stone In My Shoe

There are words in print
that I am not certain
I know how to pronounce;

they are stones in my shoe.

A dry patch of skin
high on my left cheekbone
that come and goes,
is more gone than here
but which worries me
all the time — is it back,
is it there, is it visible,
is it hideous —

it is a stone in my shoe.

Trying to replicate
a lightning one string slide
in a Robert Johnson song
that I’ve played well exactly once
and never again to my knowledge,
a note I pursue and fail to catch
so I lay my head down
and weep over it when no one’s here —

a stone in my shoe, a stone in my passway.

I am a prisoner of these shoes
that crack me from sole up.
When I tell you I’m hurt
you sit there and ask me
to grit my jaw 
and grind my head to dust
to get past this and produce.
To walk for you in spite of the pain,
speak some words I don’t know how to say out loud,
flaunt skin I cannot heal,
put my hands and voice to a song I cannot fathom.

Your insistence
upon such things is
a stone in my shoe.

My joy demands
that I tell you
that none of that 
is ever going to work.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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