She only ever wished to dance,
To stand and point with perfect stance.
She’d ask her Ma in humble tone,
“Might I have slippers of my own?”
By age thirteen, she could sauté.
With heels held high, she’d relevé.
But still she had no ballet shoes,
No satin slippers she could use.
She’d dream and wish whilst fast asleep
That borrowed shoes were hers to keep;
She’d hold them in her tiny hands
And think of grand orchestral bands.
She’d practice on her bedroom floor,
Before her mirror, poised and small.
Her dainty arms above her head,
Her tutu stitched with silver thread.
Until, one day, a parcel came
Direct from France in tumbling rain.
The ink was smudged, the script had run,
The wisps of string had come undone.
‘Twas from an aunt she’d never met,
A charming lady called Claudette.
And placed within it was a note
That brought a lump into her throat.
‘Dear Annalise,’ the letter read,
‘I found these shoes beneath my bed.
I’m far too old to stun and daze
But if you wear them, you’ll amaze!’