A friend is a poem: part 2 (Joanna Roberts).

“This is something I can give you for your birthday”

as told by Joanna Roberts to my message machine

I’m moving from my apartment
and I can’t stop thinking of this past fall
in which I only wore two pairs of boots—
such. city. boots. in that the tall brown ones
always made my ankles bleed and the little
black witchy ones somehow left
this irreversible lump of cartilage on my heel
and I walked so. much. in them and they’re not.
meant! for walking! they’re meant for viewing!
and they’ve left hilarious damage on my feet
and what makes me think of them is
that there’s this old woman who lives
in the apartment below me and I always hear her
coughing in the morning through the pipes
and I rarely every see her, the only times
I‘ve ever really seen her were when
in the fall I’d go trampling down the stairs
to get to work or to go off on some adventure
in those boots
and I would almost run her over
and she was coming back from brunch
with her sister or something like that
in her cane and her big floral dresses—

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