The Magic of Mama’s Purse

is when you are coughing

on spring pollen and

marooned at a late hour

in a hotel in Prairie du Chien

There’s a cough-drop in the inside

zipper pocket, wrapper fused to it,

coated in fine crumbs.

It’s when my nose is raw red

runny from sliding my

parka sleeve across, it

cradles a soft tissue for me on

the banks of iced-over Kent Lake

If I fidget in hunger

in the  vinyl diner booth

while Daddy looks serious,

Mama’s purse holds crayons

and almonds.

a.l.graysay

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