Red Patent Shoes. A poem by Eileen Counihan

At six years old
I hid my red patent shoes
so that I wouldn’t have to go
to next door’s birthday party
where there were children I didn’t know.
My mother couldn’t understand
how I was afraid
of cocktail sausages, ice cream cake
and not being chosen for games being played

At nearly sixty
as lockdown ends
the child within dreads going back outdoors
to cheese and wines
and busy barbecues with neighbours.
I close the door, silence the phone
and cling to the dark comforts
of being quiet and alone
happy to stay in, happy to stay home


I usually write short stories but am currently trying to finish a novel (which was longlisted in the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2020).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *