Little Crimson Dancing Shoes

Once in a scope of time, nearly yesterday
A drastic moment of history, by moral, caused the earth to quake.
Its face was stained with lifeless blood
Its fingers strung with death
And life became a long-lost gift.
Death- the sad normality, oh pain
From man’s great fall a noble leader rose to lift their shame
To loose the sorrow and the debt from government’s failed reign.
Oh God’s children surely you did not see
That by this man your futures cursed, your paths erased from history
Or you would stop the reign of terror
Worse than all natural disease.

To God the Earth’s cry riseth
“How is it my heart aches-
My core shakes, my limbs break!
It is my holding, these children on my breast;
To hold, nurture, and cherish them is your—till time’s end—gift.
How so then, is it life that drains into my veins
From millions of death’s angel’s strokes
The sky is black; its innocence impeded.”

But God his sovereign majesty
Turned his face once more
For only once in history had this happened before
His silence irrevocable, his plan, unknown.
That day God’s people lost their hope
Doubts began to stir
But God’s quiet eye was touched by some
Regardless of their fate known sure

As his eye seemed to turn away
Something must have made it pause-
A pair of crimson dancing shoes
A lone tear they did draw.
They rested there so solemnly
A monument, a mark;
This pair of shoes belonged to one whose story elsewise was lost
A single tear from God’s cold eye then did fall to earth
And filled the seas with murmurings of closure, death at birth.
* * * * *
Young Alma with her dancing shoes was the happiest of babes
Living in Warsaw, Poland before the 40’s haze
Among her loving family she knew never a wrong
How could she know ‘cept for her slippers
Soon all would be but gone.

The youngest of the family, her parents still in love
Her brothers to look after her
But soon they too were gone—
Gone to the factories that soaked the earth in blood
Gone to the crematoriums that suffocate the lost
Gone but for her crimson dancing shoes to pass the story along.

One day in autumn ’39 the news flew to their door
The cannons just two hills away, their wretched word endorsed.
“The Germans have invaded!” rung out across the town
And Alma’s mother Mary, collapsed faint upon the floor

The whispers spread behind closed doors when the officers moved in
Though kind at first, they soon proved sour—
And then, the walls caved in.
* * * * *
In the ghettos, Alma danced to lift the spirits of the weak
Her crimson shoes were light as wings on the cold concrete
When the order came to march away her feet continued to flutter
When fatigue ate away the heartless travelers
What music never stopped? But Alma’s crimson dancing shoes
On the beat to which they marched

To her it was an instrument—it shaped the crowds around
Till surely on her deathbed gone they alone passed the rounds

* * * * *
One night in the cattle cars she dreamed an awful dream
Ten suns and moons were dancing
With her crimson feet
The sun sitting on her head spoke to her and said,
“Little girl, now you choose:
We take your shoes or you die.
For god will not tolerate your refusal of uniform
You must obey the walls around or spill your dark insides.”
“And what is that uniform?”
Asked she with ignorance, who did not know her place:
“Your feet are cloaked with nothing more
Than the Fuhrer’s righteous hate.”

She woke suddenly;
The sun and moons were gone.
But even in their evil midst
Some company was drawn.
* * * * *
Auschwitz was the final place for Alma’s doom-ed dance
And as she passed in through the gates she realized an awful day
“Men to the right, women to the left!” cried a lonesome guard.
And intuition told Mary that something, drastic, wrong.

Alma and Mary fought
to blend in with the males.
Cloaked with hats-- they passed along till
something held Mary’s arm
Tugged back to the whirlpool-
one shot and she was gone.

Later, Alma’d go to sleep with an impressed image on her mind
And wonder how the God above was so ruthless, so unkind.
She wondered if perhaps she should have turned and been shot too
But as pressure pushed in on her-
She left that heartless stew.

Alma housed in barracks 17 with other men and boys
She shaved her head and dirtied her face and worked hard her arms
At night when the SS service man looked the other way
A pair of crimson dancing shoes could be seen by the fireplace.

One night at the fireside, singing as she danced
A Nazis saw her crimson shoes and beat her weak little head
So meek was she- she dared not utter
But from his mouth escaped:
“You filthy sneak, you unworthy rat, you’ll pay for this deceit.”
The Nazis officer dragged her off and took her shoes of gold
And Alma then was gone-
Like her family before.

But the inmates still her memory passed along from man to man
“Remember the girl and her crimson dancing shoes.”
“ye, May God give us her strength.”
Her shoes were seen by many and inspired strength and hope.
A pair of crimson dancing shoes their lover resting now above.

About this poem

This is a poem about a Jewish girl who experienced the Holocaust. It is a dedication to the Holocaust and the memories of all those who died. It was inspired after reading Elie Wiesel's book, 'Night'.

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Written on May 06, 2022

Submitted by ekgibbs on May 18, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:55 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 5,088
Words 984
Stanzas 15
Stanza Lengths 12, 8, 8, 15, 6, 4, 10, 2, 13, 9, 6, 5, 4, 8, 5

Savannah Gibbs

Savannah Gibbs is a freshmen in high school. She is a passionate and dedicated ballet dancer and also loves art, reading, writing, scuba diving, photography, and playing the violin. Savannah has been writing poetry since she was nine years old. more…

All Savannah Gibbs poems | Savannah Gibbs Books

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    "Little Crimson Dancing Shoes" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <>.

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