Written on the sole of my combat boots
is the name of the man in my life.
I didn’t write it there, and neither did he.
It was the bootmaker who wrote it there
to remind himself of the person
who was going to pay for the boots.
Little did that bootmaker know
that the hastily scribbled name,
which meant nothing to him but 1500 bucks,
would give me the power I needed
to walk 28 kilometers for 6 hours,
and drive another 25 at 3kph.
When I got to the bivouac
with the 900 troops who walked with me,
the mud had already obliterated the name.
But no matter; it has fulfilled its purpose.
Because at the camp, the real guy,
who walked the entire 53 kilometers overnight
in the darkness and driving rain,
had time to hold me and tell me
that names don't matter
because we already know who we are
to each other.