Anne Frank’s High Heels

By Phillis Levin Phillis Levin

Miep managed to snap them up for 27.50 guilders. Burgundy-colored 
suede and leather  ...    
                                              — Anne Frank, Tuesday, August 10, 1943

When Miep took us home with her
She held us up in the air,

Eye-level with those eyes
You may know, eyes spelling

Sorrow-girl, wait-for-me,

One-day, hurry-back, don’t-tell.
Two new hands took us in,

Skin cradling skin.
How empty we had been,

Only a little bit worn —
Not a penny, not a pebble

Dwelling within.
We became an altar,

An offering red as wine,
A wishing well.

She was made to carry us
Near and far,

We were made to bear
The pressure of her feet

In darkness, in light,
Their sweetness, their heat.

We were getting used to her.
Miep calls us a handsome pair.

Source: Poetry (June 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2014
 Phillis  Levin


Phillis Levin has published four poetry books including May Day (2008) and Mercury (2001), both from Penguin. A fifth collection, Mr. Memory & Other Poems is forthcoming in March 2016. She edited The Penguin Book of the Sonnet (2001) and teaches at Hofstra University.

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Poems by Phillis Levin

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Time & Brevity, Youth, Social Commentaries, History & Politics, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Couplet, Free Verse, Epigraph

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