Pause for poetry:
Cora Siré

Blues for the Holes in His Shoes

By Cora Siré

Originally published in March 2015 in

Having learned of the closing of Tony Shoes, we thought it fitting (no pun intended) to republish this poem by Cora Siré from 2015. A Westmount institution for over 83 years, the store and its staff will be missed by many.  We wish Tony and wife Kathie a long, healthy and happy retirement.

The publishers

He ain’t one for shoe shoppin’
he’d rather just chill
than get dragged into Tony’s
against his free will.

Got them holes-in-sneakers blues
his toes are poppin’ out in twos.

He inhales the tanned rawhide
as he ambles up the aisle
past loafers, lace-ups, buckled boots
in suede and crocodile.

Got them holes-in-sneakers blues
his toes are beggin’ for new shoes.

After checkin’ the price tags
on the soles along the rack
he tells his size to Tony
who brings out boxes in a stack.
One by one he tries them on
searchin’ for the pair
multipurpose function,
laid-back, comfy yet with flair.

Got them holes-in-sneakers blues
gotta try on tons of shoes.

He struts by the mirrors
the choice is overwhelmin’.
Tony plugs newfangled footwear,
graphite soles, self-irrigatin’.
With a lingerin’ glance at his feet,
he says, I’ll give these a gander,
settles the bill with a whistle
and swaggers onto the street.

Got them rich-guy-sailin’ blues
his toes will never see him cruise

trapped inside them fancy, new deck-shoes.

Painting by Carole Spandau at


Cora Siré writes poetry, essays and fiction. Her poems have appeared in Descant, the Literary Review of Canada, The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2009 (Tightrope Books) and Sus huellas son letras (Éditions Alondras, 2011). Born in Canada, she often writes of elsewheres, both real and imaginary, drawing on her encounters in realms ranging from Argentina to Vietnam and her family’s history of displacement. She lives in Montréal.
Cora’s web site:
Photo courtesy of Otokar Pogacnik

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