THE D. C. SHOESHINE MAN


They called him a boy but he was really a man --
A posh hotel was where he worked at his craft,

It was rumored that he'd served on an ocean liner
Where shoes were shined fore and aft,

For years he did his job for a silver dime
In the days before Federal Reserve notes,

He had more customers than anyone could imagine --
More than Franklin D. Roosevelt's votes,

When that gentleman of anonymity at last passed on
Someone went to relinquish his meager room,

That cubicle hardly saw the light of day --
Little sunlight filtered into the gloom,

A local charwoman took up the task --
Espied an innocent-looking coffee can,

The container held receipts for a hundred thousand
In deposits made by that modest, humble man.

by D. Edgar Murray 06/02/2000.