Evidence Hanging on a Rusty Nail

by Brian J. Mackay
Moontown Cafe
Second Place, May 2009
Judged by Duncan Mercredi


I found your old football boots this morning;
they were hanging on a rusty nail in the shed
next to my spare salmon fly rod.
Cobwebs stretched from lace to lace
and trailed from rubber studs like filigree.

You stored your trophies in a stained tea chest,
so I searched for evidence of silver laurels.
Each medal had a photograph for a partner;
black and white smiles from young boys,
all victorious, all proud of their triumphs.

The shed was dressed in dust and memorabilia;
shirts and socks and shorts, tiny rags for grimy
windows. Its boards were rotting and hinges
collapsing through years of careless abandonment
and sadness. I knew you couldn’t take me, brother.

I held your old football boots this morning,
they were where you always left them.
I’m going to polish them today, or tomorrow;
but now, I stroke the fifty franc statue you bought
in Lourdes, and rest my brow on your blue pillows.


How many times as one dug out old photographs and recalls days of laughter and tears? Well words can do the same, "each medal had a photograph for a partner" each line bringing with it a sense of loss, a feeling of sadness. Then another line, " I held your old football boots this morning, they were there where you always left them" and a smile forms recalling happier days. There is sadness here, some tears and hope, hope that somehow dressing up the old boots will bring a sense of closure. --Duncan Mercredi

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