Baby Shoes For Sale, A Poem


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It happened back in August
She had walked
The city streets toward home
That day mother asked her
To buy meat from the butcher
So she traveled the dirt road
And up into the square alone
Papa would have gone,
But he was sick
She was old enough now
For a little adventure
She peeked inside the storefronts
She watched the people
Passing by
She smelled the fresh juices
Sold at the corner stall
She had never
Been alone in the city
And the excitement
Thrilled her
She stopped at the butcher
Ordered what she wanted
And received her package
Wrapped in paper
And placed in plastic bag
She carried it gingerly
And left for home
The sun’s rays now fading
Left shadows
Across the dirt paths
And she sang herself a song
Lilting and happy
She smiled fully
She felt alive and free
And then –
That is when
Everything goes dark
She remembers footsteps
Following behind her
She remembers
His hand
Covering her mouth
She remembers how
She tried to scream
But there was no one
To hear
Hours later,
She returned home
Full of fear
And pained beyond
The wounds she bared
Papa was angry
But could do nothing
Mama was sad
And ashamed
How would she ever
Get married?
She carried a stain
And she thought
All her hopes and dreams
Died at that moment
But it was not to be
Three months later,
She found out
She was pregnant
Carrying the child
From a beast of a man
She was torn in two
Angry – sad
And it seemed unfair
She wailed and she cried
She punched and she kicked
Deep inside her mind
She was torn
But one day she realized
She could make a difference
No matter what was stolen
No matter how she was broken
Could do something
From that day forward
She cradled her belly
Called that baby her own
She wove tales
Wrapped all in her beautiful dreams
That only she and her child would share
It mattered not, from where he came
But where he was going
He would carry her name
And she would
Raise him up to be a man
To make a change
And whiles others looked sternly
She knew – this was the right answer
Late one night
she rushed to the hospital
Her water had broke
But the baby would not come
For hours and hours she struggled
She was exhausted and in pain
Crying out –
And the baby arrived, stillborn
There was nothing she could do
But cry
Her dreams were lost
Sometimes, yes sometimes
We just don’t understand why
But somehow, that baby
Had given her hope
Months later,
She attended school in the city
To study medicine
To make a change
She walked past the billboard
Standing in the square
She wiped a tear
From her eye
And posted a note:
For sale:
Baby shoes,
Never worn.


(c) Sumyanna 2016


The following poem contains a 6 word story by Ernest Hemingway.  This was a prompt given by a dear friend of mine (Eqci).  I was also asked to make the reader cry.  I hope I succeeded.

The six word story:
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I loved this!!! What a beautiful manifestation of the infamous 6 word story.

    I look forward to more of your posts. Following you now 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Thank you!


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