Too Soon, a poem by Shawn Aveningo

Too Soon, a poem by Shawn Aveningo
(Image courtesy of Shawn Aveningo)

Too Soon


Shawn Aveningo


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



Author Bio: 

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 FountainNazar Look: Metric ConversionsNefarious BallerinaConvergencePoetry NowTule ReviewFrom 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! (

Filed under: Prose/Poetry, Submissions

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