Red Shoes

My mother sits in the living room,
wearing her red shoes.
“Call 911,” she says.
“I’m too weak to move.
And be sure to bring my red purse
to the hospital.  It matches my red shoes.”

“Is your mom okay?”
the neighbors ask. “We saw
the ambulance take her away.
She smiled at us, waved
like she was off for a cruise.
She looked so cute in her red shoes.”

In intensive care she asks,
“What did they do with my red shoes?
Lucy, look in that cabinet
and under the bed.
They were in a bag with my clothes.
I don’t want to lose my red shoes.”

Mom, I’d like to take you for a walk
in your red shoes. We could stroll
down Piedmont Avenue,
but you have something better to do.
You’re already dancing
beyond the moon, in your red shoes.

Lucille Lang Day

From Wild One, first published
in The Hudson Review