The King of Shoemakers - part 3

by Sigbjørn Skåden

The King of Shoemakers - part 3


do you want the full story?

do you want the misery?

do you want the heartfeltness?

do you want the inexplicabilities?

Oui, c’est moi, mes enfants,

qui suis le Juif errant,

Jusup is my name,

by now you know,

and in solitude I drift across the land.


My hands have been my helpers all my life,

a mind of their own,

and the hands it was

that brought me southwards;

diligent Jusup became the pier owner’s favourite.

Unfamiliar was the companionship,

unfamiliar the friendship,

my family’s ways so dissimilar;

unfamiliar was the warmth I was given,

but I took all in good faith,

and repaid it in ways I knew,

and wonder of wonders:

suddenly I held

in the palms of my hands

a heart

which came to life

in front of my eyes,

never before had I witnessed this;

Thea was her name

and my hands trembled.


Dear listener,

will you listen?

will you take in

Jusup’s fineries?

I did not know that this was how it plays

and I sunk into


Sigbjørn Skåden