(Poem) Red Shoes by Jillian Parker

It's nothing
no one is in that closet
no sobs muffled between folds of cloth

all right, all right
so I shut her in there
she was causing trouble again
she with her little red shoes

what's she saying?
that I'm nice to everyone else but her--
that I failed to protect her again
and that those are my shoes, too--

come here, she whispers
I lean into her wild voice,
and I climb in with her and sit

she hands me a bleeding key
and I know it's time
to return to the bone room

there is a long silence
the scent of belladonna
we don't have to speak
we know the routine

I'm so tired of it

"This is the last time, I promise,"
I mutter and stare at my bare feet
callused and bruised
they twitch, sensing the River
I lose myself into my wrinkled soles
because they are the only part of me that Knows
and I let the knowing flow like healing sap
until it reaches the center 

now she's snickering at me
"While you sat there, moping," she taunts,
"I went and killed the brute,threw his bones to the wind,
and visited Baba Yaga."

into my blood-encrusted hand she presses a pole
topped by a skull ablaze,
every orifice emitting flame

she laughs
puts on the red shoes
and disappears

and then I decide
that the closet is no place
for such an incendiary device

so I open the door
and come out.



The image is by the Canada-based artists, Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek, and their art can be viewed at http://tincanforest.com/.
The image is by the Canada-based artists, Pat Shewchuk and Marek Colek, and their art can be viewed at http://tincanforest.com/.

Read Meet Mago Contributor, Jillian Parker.