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Posts tagged ‘slipper’

Slipper Man

He paddled out on fen bound road
Sat on his old bike seat
His feet just pacing on the ground
Not touching pedals to abound
And slippers on his feet

He forged his way on country road
With dog right by his side
A small bred terrier who ran
Ahead of this old run-down man
His bicycle astride

He ambled down the drove to where
His home just used to be
A mason’s cottage made of bricks
From works now just a pile of sticks
Yet recalled constantly

And out on fenland track I saw
A man with huge regret
All playing out before his eyes
His thoughts no more left in disguise
Lest he could not forget

For he had drunk his fortune dry
In whiskey constantly
To lose his home, his work, his life
Confined to bike and dog – such strife
And long lost memories

But through his trouble and despair
He was a cheerful chap
That always found the time of day
To chat and smile along his way
Around his fenland lap

We used to live in the middle of nowhere, a god forsaken place where the world seemed to have stopped yet at the same time went on endlessly as far as the eyes could see with nothing to comfort the landscape except the memories of days gone by when cattle would have been driven along the droves, brickworks flourished in the field nearby and the dykes (man-made drainage channels) carried boats with their cargoes.  It was a harsh environment and lonely yet everyday, a man would come out of the village a few miles away on his bike with his dog and stop to chat over the garden fence.  He always wore slippers and to this day I don’t ever remember him actually peddling his bike more so propelling himself along with his feet on the muddy tracks.  We affectionately called him “Slipper Man” but he coloured our lives with his stories of the old days, he loves, his regrets and his tales of what had gone on “down our way” before the brickworks had closed and he had drunk away his fortune.  Those few minutes we often spared coloured our lives and made what was otherwise a really tough time a lot better.  It also made us resolved to always give someone another chance for how often do we see all “slipper man” – the men sitting on street corners, sleeping on park benches, losing their life in the bottom of a bottle of whiskey and cast out our judgements without giving them a second look.