poem index

Red Shoes

Honor Moore
all that autumn you step from the train

as if something were burning

something is burning

running across the green grass bare feet

that day death was only

what we lose in fall comes back in spring

something is burning

from the train you climb

smoke between the skyscrapers

Paris was so beautiful, the sky– 

all that autumn

then tears

Why do we do this again?

she turns to you in the kitchen

she puts her arms around you

she is wearing those red shoes

From Red Shoes by Honor Moore, published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 2005 by Honor Moore. Reprinted by permission of Honor Moore. All rights reserved.

Honor Moore

by this poet

poem
She wore them with silk and black sheers,
Her winter legs twin moons under lace– 
New shoes. handmade, gleaming, polished
As a lake at twilight or a new mirror:
Fashioned for men, but cut for a woman.
He wanted her, he said, wearing those shoes.

Dreaming as they measure her shoeless,
A cobbler in Florence, his
poem
The great poet came to me in a dream, walking toward me in a house
drenched with August light. It was late afternoon and he was old,

past a hundred, but virile, fit,leonine.  I loved that my seducer
had lived more than a century and a quarter.  What difference

does age make?  We began to talk about the making
poem
A plane tree, leaves green as if polished, 
the reddened tips of fruit trees, a stand
of cypress, and through the blackened green, 
a yellow field, slant of roof. Nearer, 
the castle gate, pale brick flecked with stone
like cream with nutmeg or cinnamon,  
and climbing, vermilion of roses.

As swallows shriek