"Tom the Cobbler" by Padraic Burke, L.S., Ch., F.S.


An Coinneal – Number Five Christmas 1967

My memory of the cobbler

Brings happy thoughts to mind:

He doesn’t cobble now at all,

Those days are all behind.

In bygone days when school would end,

And, sent down to his house,

I knew he’d have a kinder word,

No grumble and no grouse.

“I want those shoes half-soled”, I’d say,

“As soon as e’er you can”.

“Alright, come down on Saturday,

“I’ll have them done, young man”.

“Tell me how is yer this-and-that?”

He’d inquire about the lot;

“Sit down and take the fire’s heat—

“ ‘Tis cold weather that we’ve got”.

He’d even let me smoke a cig.,

And not pretend to see;

But I often caught him (well, once or twice)

Looking over his specs at me.

He’d sit there on his little stool,

With leather- aproned waist,

The only cobbler in town:

His work must be made in haste.

I’d love to see him work again,

His lips full of tacks;

He never missed to tap each one –

He seemed to have some special knacks.

Long sheets of leather there to choose,

Shoes in red and black—

Well, Tom, it’s just like yesterday,

These memories all roll back.

Now people rush to posh heel – bars,

With stiletto heels that crack,

To get them glued by big machines

Far from your tickety –tack.

I think of you and all your work,

And wish you long years rest,

For no matter what machines do,

The cobbler still is the best!

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