The Red Shoes

I stand in the ring
in the dead city
and tie on the red shoes.

They are not mine.
They are my mother’s.
Her mother’s before.
Handed down like an heirloom
but hidden like shameful letters.
The house and the street where they belong
are hidden and all the women, too,
are hidden.

                       – excerpt from The Red Shoes by Anne Sexton

Photo artwork: Girl in Red Shoes found at



  1. Hey Jenn,

    Cool post–I didn’t know this poem by Anne Sexton. Clearly I should read more of her work.

    Love, Lis


  2. Reading this (and your post below), I am drawn to Anne Sexton’s work like never before… Thank you for providing such incredible insight into this incredible woman and poet.


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