Shoes by the Door

A poem inspired by the memories of a grandchild at his Papa’s memorial.

Shoes by the Door

The anticipation was palpable

We waited up late into the night

But we knew this truth

They were chronically late

So with whines and groans

We, the grandchildren, made our way

Up the staircase, grudgingly to bed

Stealing glances out the window to the dark

For what seemed like hours

We would listen for telltale sounds

Tires in the driveway

Car doors closing

Keys jingling in the door lock

The creak of the hinges

The whispers of welcome

The rustle of wrapping paper

But silent waiting gave way to dreams

And longing surrendered to sleep

Until the sun sliced through the curtain

Announcing that morning had arrived

The smell of bacon cooking

The sounds of dishes rattling

Called us to run down the stairs

We had crawled up just hours before

That’s when we would see them

And we would know they had arrived

Two pairs of shoes by the door

Slightly off to one side

And cries of glee and ecstasy

Would fill the little home

Because we knew that finally

Papa and Grandma had come

-Dave Bentley (5-9-2023)