The boy.
The Shoes
I’m tired...
You see, we walked today.
It started this morning, like a normal day.
I thought maybe I’d be going to school,
That’s what we usually do.
We left the house, as we always do.
The boy cut across the field,
Stepped off the curb.
I expected us to turn right,
Head to class.
Instead, today we went left.
Left, toward the park.
There was a man... he was sitting on the ground.
He had a blanket, and a dog.
Not much else.
The boy stopped to talk to him...
Other people stared.
Then we walked away.
We continued through the park,
The boy stopped to talk to some friends.
He was explaining a plan to them... and they laughed.
But one guy, one I’ve seen around before...
He told them to stop.
Show some respect.
They got quiet. We left.
We continued on our way,
Stopping at a store.
The boy looked at some things,
Not his normal choices.
Today, instead of music and games,
He stopped to look at shoes and blankets.
We paid for his selections and left.
Next, we stopped at the grocery.
Mr. Smith works there... He is a nice man.
He asked what we were looking for today.
Instead of a soda and a bag of chips,
The boy asked for some lunch meat and cheese.
He also asked for some bread and fruit.
How strange.
Finally we headed back toward home...
But no. One more stop.
We stopped at the pet store.
I wonder why? We never do this.
The boy asked for a bag of kibble...
An then for a few treats.
He said it was for a friend.
We got back to the park.
The boy’s friends were there again.
It’s almost like they were waiting for us.
They had some things with them now.
A coat. Some clothes.
One had a toothbrush and some soap.
(That surprised me, I didn’t think he knew what those were!)
Another had a book, and an old ipod.
The last boy, he had a leash and a collar.
They’ve clearly lost their minds.
But... again, nothing new there.
So off we go again, headed back towards home.
Thank goodness, it’s been a long day
I’m tired.
I guess his friends are coming with us...
That’s fine, I don’t care.
He will take me off when he gets home anyway.
We stop again.
There’s that man and his dog.
The boy is going to talk to him again.
I wonder why?
He seems to be introducing his friends.
They are all giving him their stuff.
This is really strange.
Why would they do that???
The man seems really grateful.
He says that he was like them once.
But then he went off to war.
Things he saw there changed him.
He isn’t the same as he once was.
He said that things are different now.
He said he lost his family.
He lost his home.
He gave everything he had,
But he lost it all.
All he has is his dog now.
But he says that he is doing okay.
He says that he is fine.
He says that people like my boy
Are what makes him see the good in the world.
He says that my boy and his friends
Remind him of who he used to be.
And that gives him hope.
I’m glad my boy stopped to talk to him.
I’m glad my boy told his friends.
I’m glad that they decided to help this man.
Yes, I’m tired. It’s been a long day.
But it sounds like I’m going to get a rest soon.
You see, my boy...
He says he is trading me in for some boots soon.
I think it has something to do with that man.

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