Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

kate spade


Sometimes the world reminds us of the hidden sadness all around us, even (especially?) in unexpected places.

The thought of Kate Spade ending her life with a red scarf is shocking and awful.

Here’s my contribution to the mourning – a minor poem, in a minor key.

Photo from Cosmopolitan

kate spade

Kate Brosnahan
from Kansas City

used her boyfriend’s name
for the handbag she made

the handbag together they called kate spade

what’s in a bag?
what’s in a name?

in time she also became Kate Spade

they sold the company they had made

Fame, name, age, time
she added the letters “Valentine”
between Kate and Spade.

When did her mind

become a blade
she turned on herself?

She lived her life
in vibrant hues –
in orange yellow pink and blues
when did the melody tuneful and true

go silent?

kate spade sold hope
and cheerful dreams
a future that sparkled
a future that gleamed –

What’s in a name?
What’s in a bag?

Things aren’t – we know – always as they seem.

She held the red scarf around her neck
(Kate Brosnahan, spade, and Valentine) –

Name bag fame dread
full empty hungry fed
dream in colors
or dream in red
it’s all the same
we end up dead –

A woman with a red scarf
might have said.

(I wish a friend could have held her – stayed her – hand instead.)

*      *      *

*       *       *

Hand photo copyright here.

Because I’m borrowing an image, which has haunted me since I first heard the song (If you click link below, it will take you to Youtube) –



  1. Dear Jennifer, that poem was lovely. So sweet of you to take the time. So, so sad. You’re last line…so true.

    • Thank you so much, Trish – I’m just having a hard time wrapping my mind around it, that kind of despair (illness?) in such stark contrast to the beautiful colors of her life. xoxo

  2. It’s hard to imagine someone who brought so much vibrancy to the world was gone. And yet, when I think on it a little longer I realize we’re all capable of vulnerability and strength, beauty and pain. Because we’re human. I think telling stories like the one you shared about Faith at Walgreens resonate so deeply with this community because we identify with that feeling of being vulnerable and frustrated with ourselves. And our hearts are comforted when we are reminded that there are so many people around us (like Faith) willing to lend a hand. May we all keep our eyes open a little more intentionally to see those in need around us.

  3. I stopped to realize (while reading your poem) that my teeth were clenched to hold back the tears. I stopped to realize (while watching Pearl Jam) that I was biting my lip to hold back the tears. When I quit, and I relaxed? The tears came slowly down my face anyway.

  4. Jennifer: Thank you for making the time for this post. It is a beautiful message of Ms. Spade’s life and contribution much more than the material one’s. She had a dream, she chased, she caught it and she shared it with the world. You raise question of when and why. The answer we may never know but your words illustrate how much sorrow can lie just below the surface yet remain invisible to all around.

    You reminded me how important it is to be present with ourselves and with others. We truly don’t know the life of others, their thoughts, what is consuming their mind, spirit and soul unless we are present and seek to not just hear but to listen and understand. We owe each other this unconditional compassion. Yet why is it so hard to realize this until often it is too late? THANK YOU for your words.

  5. Jennifer,

    This is painfully beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Beautiful poem…such loss and sadness. The deep pain that lies within is so many times hidden and we don’t know to reach out with a helping hand….if only we did before it’s too late.xoxo

  7. Touching tribute to a talented woman.

  8. Thank you for sharing this bittersweet poem & tribute Jennifer. Things truly aren’t as they seem so many times in this life. Thank you for reminding us to be gentle with one another.

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