Shu Sign


PawPaw, Madison County, NC 2014

For a time, Kate and Shu lived in our barn.

They planted a garden and tended the animals.

They mended fences and mucked stalls.

They left a footprint.

At some point, while walking to my workspace,

also in the barn, I noticed this shoe.

Ah, I thought at once, it’s Shu’s mailbox,

but not a very practical one.

Then, I understood it to be a mark, a totem.

A Kilroy Was Here moment.

A Sign of Shu, meant for the ages.

Leather, nailed to a locust post.

Who knows how long it will be there?

It's history was as half of a pair.

A flower bloomed from the other until the dogs claimed it as their own.

Chewed and carried off, gone for a time, then rediscovered like a forgotten lover.

It finally came to rest, under a shrub, nourishing the soil,

a different ending than its crucified mate.