I Am a Shoe

for J.B.

I am a shoe in need of a right-sized foot. I ache
to have him slip inside me, wriggle his toes
comfortably as I walk with him everywhere.
No one would know how much I love him.

I know each crack of the cement ahead of me.
Each story of my past would surely break
my mother’s back if she knew what I’ve done.
The feet in my life would trample her heart.

I am a shoe softened by fuzzy socks
that keep me warm and dry inside on
days that chill and nights that pour.
Each time a toe nudges me, I reawaken.

I am a shoe ready to itch from athlete’s
foot. Secrets that shouldn’t happen did.
I should be kicked every which way, but no,
the grass forgives me everything I am not.

A journey you’ll never forget.


In his fourth poetry collection Road Work Ahead, Raymond Luczak sets out on a turbulent journey after ending a 15-year relationship. As he meets kindred souls on his travels, Luczak wonders what it means to love again. He opens the suitcase of his heart in far-flung cities and points beyond. His poems, pungent with musk and ache, will open yours too.


The black-and-white photograph shows a grassy road through a sparse forest. Above the road is a transparent square with a bright orange border tilted to the side. The text on top of the square says ROAD WORK AHEAD. Below the "sign" are the text in white and orange: poems | RAYMOND LUCZAK.

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