Red Petrified

When I was five

Lost my favorite red shoes

in the river

Caterpillars molded

on the front

River mouth

swallowed

my wails

Mom and dad bought me

new shoes

Blue with birds

At night I’d go out

Looking

My red shoes

Couldn’t find

Then one night

Saw a

clipped-winged man

by the river

In his talons

My red shoes

Ran to him

He was gone

My fists ball up

My screams pierce twilight


Now that I’m older

The man follows

looping street corners

hanging from livewire

loitering by bedroom doorway

When I snare him

I’ll devour

Crush my

feet into

those caterpillars

that sunken earth

Find my roots

in the red