Cornelius Eady’s Travelin’ Shoes

It’s something how poetry—and literature in general—can touch your reality with words that feel so much like your own.  I read this poem by Cornelius Eady last night and thought it an appropriate, almost exact, reflection of life right now.  It’s called “Travelin’ Shoes.”

And at last, I get the phone call.  The blues rolls into

my sleepy ears at five A.M., a dry, official voice from

my father’s hospital.  A question, a few quick facts,

and my daddy’s lying upstate on the coolin’ floor.

Death, it seems, was kinder to him in his last hour

than life was in his last four months.

Death, who pulls him to a low ebb, then slowly

floods over his wrecked body like a lover.

Cardio-vascular collapse, the polite voice is telling

me, but later my cousin tells me, he arrives on the

ward before they shut my father’s eyes and mouth to

see the joy still resting on his face from the moment

my daddy finally split his misery open.


  1. Wow, Michael. Just, wow. Those last two lines are amazing. Thanks for sharing this, and sharing your journey around your father.



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