The Christmas Purse

You sit at your kitchen table,
wearing a floral print house dress,
gently turning the purse over

in your ample hands, inspecting
the shape, the texture, testing
the snap of the gold-toned clasp,

telling us all - many times over -
what a wonderful gift it is.
I feel sorry for you,

getting nothing but a purse
for Christmas, feel sad because I know
you probably won't keep it for long.

Daddy says you never have anything
nice because you always give
your good things away. Grandma,

where is your Christmas tree -
your beautifully wrapped packages -
that you should have to marvel

over an empty black purse?

by Mary Agnes Dalrymple

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