Barefoot Man

Barefoot Man was wearing shoes today
Even though it was only 10 degrees
I see him maybe once a week
Walking his dog
No lead
On their way to the shops
Bare feet

The dog is black and white
The man’s instructions are
Firm and fair

Stop. Heel. Walk.

He keeps the dog to his left
Just a step or two behind
His bare feet

They walk back from the shops
Green groceries
In a canvas shoulder bag
One day a large, full bunch of celery
In the man’s right hand
Always uses the left
To point and click fingers at the dog

Stop. Heel. Walk.

Barefoot Man is tall and lean
Not thin
In his forties?
Long greying hair
Tucked back by sunglasses
Upon his forehead

He walks purposefully
Long easy strides
The dog keeping up
With its four bare feet

One day
He drove by
As I stood at the corner
Tradie’s ute
Builder maybe
Bare feet
On the accelerator?

One day
We acknowledged each other
I nodded Hello
He called me Man
Then back to the dog

Stop. Heel. Walk.

But today Barefoot Man was wearing shoes
Good walking-hiking shoes
Even though it was only 10 degrees



  1. Great imagery – I find myself often making up back stories for folks I see frequently – or even infrequently, along the way. I reckon this guy has an interesting back story, as plain & ordinary as it may be. I would make up an interesting one though, full of the right amount of pathos, bullshit & comedy!


  2. Thanks Vin. Great observations of detail that bring the seemingly ordinary to life and from your unique perspective.

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