Tell me your story, the voice
in my head kept repeating
until it became more a mantra,
than simple request.
I held that tiny key in my hand
for what seemed like weeks,
wondering what secrets
it would soon unlock.
The numeral “53” etched
into its face, begging me
to find its way home. Maybe
a mailbox in a far away
tumbleweed town. Or
a secret safety deposit box
with a mimeographed certificate,
the purple ink faded like wilting
agapanthus, barely able to decipher
the name of a stillborn baby boy.
Perhaps there’s a wooden box,
tucked away below a floorboard,
locked inside it, a lock of blonde
hair, a cameo brooch, the letter “L”
from an old Underwood typewriter,
perched atop a sepia toned photograph
of the woman she loved, but could
not admit to in public. I may never
know all her secrets, only that
she died too soon. But I guess
we always say that, don’t we?
It’s always too soon, no matter
how long we prepare for the
Shawn Aveningo is an internationally published, multi-award-winning poet who hosts the Verse on the Vine™ poetry show. She’s performed in San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Sausalito, Sacramento and St. Louis. Her work has been published in over 50 anthologies, literary journals and e-zines, including Pirene’s Fountain, Nazar Look: Metric Conversions, Nefarious Ballerina, Convergence, Poetry Now, Tule Review, From the Four Chambered Heart: Tribute to Anais Nin and Haunted Waters Press Quarterly. She’s a Show-Me girl from Missouri, a Summa Cum Laude graduate from University of Maryland and a very proud mother of three. And she absolutely loves shoes – especially red ones! (www.RedShoePoet.com)