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16 October 2014
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Connaire McCullough
Connaire McCullough

Connaire is currently in the final year of an English degree at Queen’s university, Belfast. She has studied Creative Writing among her modules. She is 21 years old and a single mother. She lives in East Belfast with her son David and sister Kelly. Connaire wants to become a full-time writer.

Big Shoes by Connaire McCullough
When I was a little girl I used to raid my mummy’s wardrobe.
I pulled out everything and made a mess!
There were sparkly sequined dresses,
glamorous and floaty.
She had a wide horizontal mirror on her dressing table,
and if I stood on the bed I could see myself
as I danced about in her dress, pretending to be a grown-up.
I tried on all her make-up, lots of powdery ‘rouge’ blusher,
till I had bright red shiny cheeks,
and lots of peacock eye shadow.
The jewellery box was like a treasure chest
and I would find big, shiny, dangly earrings
that always pinched a little as I clipped them on,
but that was part of being a grown-up.
I put my hair up in her large gold butterfly clip
and draped myself in masses of colourful beads.
Then I went back to wardrobe and searched
for the silver fur coat and my favourite thing of all,
a beautiful light-blue feather boa.
I swished it around my neck and over one shoulder,
then began to search for the perfect shoes.
After trying on every pair I chose the red leather stilettos
with the high pointy heels and pointy toes.
I pranced past the mirror
knowing that anyone who saw me would think I was mummy,
as I looked like a real adult going out for dinner.

Now I really am the mummy,
but my son doesn’t dress up in my clothes.
He asks what everything is for,
while watching me put on my make-up,
and plays with my jewellery and flowers.
He jumps on my bed and tries to steal my teddies,
he pretends that he’s six when he’s five.

Now I’m supposed to be the grown-up,
even though it feels like a game.
When I see myself in the mirror
I wonder what other people see.
Do I seem like a little girl,
wearing big shoes?

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This is a strikingly successful poem, full of vivid detail.  The end comes as a thought provoking shock.
Gerry McCullough
Excellent piece by Connaire, I remember her as a young girl at Church, and now she is a young lady with a son, fantastic, how the years fly. An evocative piece by Connaire Sophistication, finesse, and more emanating in this marvellous short piece. More please. Regards, Mark

More from this writer:

Big Shoes
November Night

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