OKLAHOMA SENIOR POET LAUREATE
Nick Sweet

THE COBBLER

I was lost when I entered the cobbler’s—
I knew not where I was nor why.
I said, "Could you tell me the time sir?"
He gave a confusing reply,

"Next you’ll expect the weather report
And where to seek lodging nearby
That’s cheap, neat, and not obsolete
With an unhindered view of the sky."

"Can’t you see," continued the leather smith,
"Your questions are answered the same:
Time, weather, and sleep don’t occur.
I think it’s a damnable shame,

A heinous injustice that here in this
Stinking shop I’ll always remain;
It would be nice to catch a quick nap
And stroll in the morning rain.

I’d be overjoyed if I could distinguish
Midnight from mid-afternoon.
But that time is over, I’m destined to sit
In the stench of this leather-soaked room."

This insolent man then broke into sobs.
He shook so hard I retreated;
I searched for the door but found it was locked.
He slumped in his chair quite defeated.

"I didn’t plan to stay," I joked.
"Nor did I," his voice made me queasy.
"Please unlock the door," I said; and he sneered,
"I wish it was truly that easy. "

He lowered his gaze to my weather-scarred boots
And spoke in a tone flat and cold,
"I’ll repair your toes and rebuild your heels
But I cannot save your sole."


Nick Sweet, 61, of Tonkawa is a self-employed freelance stage director whose love of theater arts sparkles like ageless stardust in his aura. He has won previous awards in Senior Poets Laureate competitions. His creative career path has led Nick to move like a modern-day troubadour, always lighting the way, as if by magic, for others to follow. Nick has one child and one grandchild. He is Pisces.