Louis MacNeice

Empty Shoes

Someone said that shoes had personality,
That when you die your shoes…
That the frozen overflow of personality
Hangs on in jags after the general thaw
When a man has died.
Icicles, acroteria.
In a corner, in a cloakroom, among rackets and rods
An old pair of brogues
With criss-cross wrinkles like an old man’s face.
Or when a girl has died
Her shoes are lined up, spruce as soldiers,
Waiting for the word Dismiss.
And in hotels at night passing from door to door
There is something terrible in all those empty shoes.