• Abigail Hall

party shoes

I took a few wrong turns

trying to get back to where I came from.

Tried to hold on to the pieces of who I was

but they just kept tying me down —

the echoes of a girl I don’t know anymore,

wouldn’t recognize if I saw her.

The good memories that got her through,

and the trauma that held her bound.

The people she clung to and

the magic she needed to be true.

The hope that maybe, just maybe

She could be forgiven.

She could be happy.

She could be free.

But she could not, because that magic she believed in

was actually a chain to the ground.

It was not a freedom, it was a weight,

a curse

of fighting against her inner self

Her questions,


She cried a lot

and they told her it was healing to empty her wounds in front of them

they told her cutting her scars open further —

to analyze them

to understand them

to never repeat them —

would help her move forward.

But all they did was cut. All they did was hurt.

All they did was censor her.

She fought for logic and she couldn’t see

it had always been right in front of her

inside of her —

unlike the façade of magic.

They told her she needed to be forgiven,

she didn’t know she already was.

She was always fine, as she was.

But she couldn’t know that until after she was destroyed —

limb by limb

breath by breath

chord by chord.

She needed someone to save her

not knowing she could save herself.

She could leave.

She could run.

She could walk the tight rope with her eyes wide open.

She could cross and find land

find shelter

find peace

find self.

I couldn’t know then

what I know now.

And it’s sad,

but maybe you have to be lit on fire

to realize the witches at the stakes

were right all along.

So I left my party shoes

the ones that made me feel pretty

when I didn’t know what that felt like.

The ones I danced in.

I accidentally spilled candle wax on them

a lifetime ago.

I was so upset —

their virtue was tarnished

and I thought mine was too.

The girl that wore them,

I don’t recognize anymore.

The girl that needed them,

she ceased to exist.

I left my party shoes where they always belonged

an in-between room

for passersby on their way to elsewhere.

A temporary hull in the storm.

But it was never mine,

it never belonged to me.

Maybe the bows on those shoes never did either.

They sat in my room for years:



Unable to discard.

Was it the memory?

Was it the thought of who she was?

The thought she might one day come back?

She can’t. She died.

They killed her.

They killed her

and like the phoenix she rose from the ashes.

Something new,

something different,

maybe something better.

So I’ll say goodbye to the pieces of her —

the pieces that need to stay with her.

She was so sad,

and those shoes made her feel a little less empty.

But it couldn’t last.

She couldn’t last.

So I bought new party shoes.

Ones full of glitter and maybe a little new magic

not a magic of thought:

a magic of beauty

a magic of hope

a magic of tomorrow

a magic of choice.

Maybe I’ll dance in them.

Maybe I’ll walk in them until I disappear

and I become the next ‘her.’

And maybe one day I’ll leave them in a hotel room, too.

Maybe we learn to hold on

until it’s time

to let go.

Until it’s time to light it all ablaze and start anew.

I don’t have the answers.

And maybe that’s the point.

Maybe that’s the whole fucking point.

-a look back

a.w 11.21

16 views0 comments