photo boxes and red leather shoes

today we went through
the remnants of you

a box of school papers,
drawings of stick people
long and strong, standing like
the pillars they were for you
I help your mom decide
what to keep and what to give away

we find your favorite shoes
the ones I bought
the day after you moved in with me
funny how shoes
can mean so much
a world of memories in worn red leather
and white shoelaces
I hug them for a while
as your mom reads a letter she found
where you confess your young love
but never sent it
did they ever know?
perhaps it was your secret
(until now)

your entire life
reduced down to small flashes
kept in a box
I pick up a photo of you
when you were 1 year old
our bald copper-skinned baby
that always smiled at strangers
and ran to me whenever I was around
your sweet angel face
looks back with such innocence,
I find myself choking the tears back
for fear that you could read it on my face
that you would be diagnosed the next year
and carry the weight of a lifetime of
sickness and fighting for your life
with traces of happiness squished in between

my brave niece, never blaming
never angry
always finding ways to enjoy life
despite the hospitals, needles, and pain
always comforting rather than being comforted
your warm flesh and soft hand
my best memories of you

I put the photo down
and hide it in the bottom of the pile
so that you, my beautiful little baby,
cannot see the design
from the telling sadness in my eyes
that you would die at 19
and leave us behind
hugging your shoes
and reading your letters
and not wanting to let anything go
to hold on to each piece and fragment
so we stop feeling like we’re losing more of you
than we already have

photo boxes and red leather shoes


Kansas City, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 31

Artist's Description

Time doesn’t always erase the pain

Artwork Comments

  • Del Millar
  • ShadowDancer
  • Alexis Elizabeth
  • ShadowDancer
  • Alexis Elizabeth
  • ShadowDancer
  • Angela Harelson
  • ShadowDancer
  • Astoreth
  • ShadowDancer
  • Cassey
  • ShadowDancer
  • David A. Everitt (aka silverstrummer)
  • ShadowDancer
  • Ushna Sardar
  • ShadowDancer
  • Lenroe
  • ShadowDancer
  • Erika .
  • ShadowDancer
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