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You don’t see it every day, a man with a Brannock
device for measuring feet strapped to his belt
where you might expect a cell phone or water
bottle, flapping up and down as he crosses the busy
street, leaving me to imagine the woman he finds
on the next block whose sandal strap or heel has broken,
how he would go to work on her size 6 ½ Cs, remove
the roll of leather in his backpack, the assortment of knives,
pliers, and punches, how she will spend the day
with him, perched on a bus bench, hearing the life
of the itinerant cobbler, the wisdom and aphorisms
of his years among the well-heeled and the shoeless—
pliability is more important than strength; if the shoe
doesn’t fit, it might not be the fault of the shoe—

how she came to love the way he would run his finger
along her instep, check the lay of her toes, and how,
late into the night, when all was wrapped tightly
around a much-worn wooden last, he would send her
home, finish the final stitching, leave her to find
the finely-buffed flats on her front porch come morning,
her head still half in a dream where she may have ridden
a centaur, thrilled at the size of his thundering hooves.

C. Wade Bentley teaches and writes in Salt Lake City. His poems have been published widely in journals such as Cimarron Review, Best New Poets, Rattle, Antiphon Review, and Pembroke Magazine. A full-length collection of his poems, What Is Mine, was published by Aldrich Press in January of 2015. Visit his website for further information about his publications and awards.