Shoes at the Holocaust Museum

By 
Lauren Carter

Dusty, corralled by clear walls
of plexiglass, they smell of age,

the violent polish of pain. Red,
mismatched, many, owned

by the women who wore
them, sophisticated, matching

lipstick to dress, never
imagining that by the quiet end

of one day they would
be nameless. Nothing

but animals, wrapped in skin.
Nothing but flesh

cowed under a frozen cloak
of fear. Bodies

seeking warmth from each
other, in the crowded

car of a terrifying train
tearing into night. Soft red

eather shoes an old indulgence
from another woman’s life. 

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Lauren Carter's first collection of poetry, Lichen Bright, was published by Your Scrivener Press and long-listed for the ReLit Award. She lives in Orillia, Ontario, where she is currently at work on a novel for her MFA in Creative Writing, and a second collection of poetry. Her work has appeared in several other publications.

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