The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Zoo Prairie Dogs

Red Slippers
By Amy Lowell

Red slippers in a shop-window; and outside in the street, flaws of gray, windy sleet!

Behind the polished glass the slippers hang in long threads of red, festooning from the ceiling like stalactites of blood, flooding the eyes of passers-by with dripping color, jamming their crimson reflections against the windows of cabs and tram-cars, screaming their claret and salmon into the teeth of the sleet, plopping their little round maroon lights upon the tops of umbrellas.

The row of white, sparkling shop-fronts is gashed and bleeding, it bleeds red slippers. They spout under the electric light, fluid and fluctuating, a hot rain-and freeze again to red slippers, myriadly multiplied in the mirror side of the window.

They balance upon arched insteps like springing bridges of crimson lacquer; they swing up over curved heels like whirling tanagers sucked in a wind-pocket; they flatten out, heelless, like July ponds, flared and burnished by red rockets.

Snap, snap, they are cracker sparks of scarlet in the white, monotonous block of shops.

They plunge the clangor of billions of vermilion trumpets into the crowd outside, and echo in faint rose over the pavement.

People hurry by, for these are only shoes, and in a window farther down is a big lotus bud of cardboard, whose petals open every few minutes and reveal a wax doll, with staring bead eyes and flaxen hair, lolling awkwardly in its flower chair.

One has often seen shoes, but whoever saw a cardboard lotus bud before?

The flaws of gray, windy sleet beat on the shop-window where there are only red slippers.


As is typical in this area, we have gone from winter to summer in the course of two weeks -- it was over 80 degrees on Tuesday, brilliantly sunny, we had bumblebees and yellow jackets in our front yard, the purple azaleas across the street are opening, the one cherry blossom tree on our street is in full bloom and from the photos the ones around the Tidal Basin will be tomorrow or the next day. My throat tells me the pollen count is similarly rising, but it's worth it to see all the trees waking up.

I don't have a lot to report, otherwise; I got a lot of writing done, did not get the laundry folded, saw happy bunnies and squirrels enjoying the weather, got a letter from The Pink Palm telling me that I had indeed won a Lilly Pulitzer prize because I guessed Louisville would win the NCAA tournament and my prize would be arriving soon. In the evening we watched the UConn women beat Louisville's women by about 30,000 points, so I am glad the bet was on the men. Here are some happily munching Maryland Zoo prairie dogs:


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