Just the shoes

Was it you that day?
I forgot to ask your name
on the steps – you fell
backwards, I turned
too late.  You, crumpled
cracked head at my feet.
We wait together on the steps for
help to come, head cradled in my lap
crying out for your shoe. It came off.
I guess, I don’t recall, like your name, when you fell.
‘Don’t worry about your shoes, you need to be still’
I said.  They came, you went in the ambulance
with both your shoes.  Funny how I remember
the shoes, but not your name.

Why those shoes? As I walked away
through the crowd.  Perhaps they
were fashionable, expensive.  I don’t know.
Ordinary trainers to me, a little scuffed
around the edges, like the rest of you. I realise,
scuffed around the edges is what people see,
the names they call you, what does it matter
when, if you reply or not it’s always the same meaning
‘not here’, ‘move on’, ‘don’t be in my way,’ When was it
that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and
gave you clothing? But your shoes the only pair you had,
no name to me just the shoes. Because you needed them.