Poetry returns, and today’s prompt has led me to write the sappiest, schmaltzy-est poem I think I’ve ever attempted — an ode.
The prompt, courtesy of Poets & Writers, yet again:
Write a lyric poem titled “Ode to the Girl in the Red Shoes.” Read the Poetry Foundation’s definition of the ode, for more information.
I’m not following the common rhyme scheme, ABABCDECDE, nor the standard stanza length; odes do not have as strict a form as I thought, so I played with it. I hate rhyming just to rhyme, but the rhyming here was organic, and eventually I just had to accept it.
As I move from one age bracket to another (goodbye “25-34”), I found myself not wanting to talk about one girl, at one age. Instead, I preferred the idea of a parent, waxing poetic about their daughter, on all the red shoes she ever wore. (Not that I’m familiar at all with that particular experience…)
It’s simple, it’s cheesy, it might do well on a Hallmark card.
I’ll try harder tomorrow.
(An Ode to) The Girl in the Red Shoes
Your soft little slippers
Encased your soft little toes;
In your shiny dark curls,
Matching red velvet bows.
And when we stare happily
In your blue, smiling eyes,
Nowhere could we see
Even a trace of goodbyes.
As you grew, dirt-covered sneakers
In scarlet red clad your busy feet
Muddy from softball afternoons
And racing bicycles in the street
We wiped blood from your knees
And tears from your eyes
And never thought of when
We might say our goodbyes.
Strappy red sandals wrapped your ankles
When we dropped you at school that day,
You were ready to conquer the world,
To take on whatever come-what-may.
There was excitement and joy
And anticipation in your eyes,
When we hugged and said
What were our first goodbyes
Later you married, one evening in fall,
And though your dress was lacy white,
On your feet your shoes were ruby red
As the two of you held hands in delight
We saw the love and pride and
Devotion shared in your eyes
And we hope that we will never,
To either of you, say any more goodbyes.