by Jane Kenyon
My mother comes back from a trip downtown to the dime
store. She has brought me a surprise. It is still in her purse.
She is wearing her red shoes with straps across the in-
step. They fasten with small white buttons, like the eyes
She brings back zippers and spools of thread, yellow and
green, for her work, which always takes her far away, even
though she works upstairs, in the room next to mine.
She is wearing her blue plaid full-skirted dress with the
large collar, her hair fastened up off her neck. She looks
pretty. She always dresses up when she goes downtown.
Now she opens her straw purse, which looks like a small
suitcase. She hands me a new toy: a wooden paddle with
a red rubber ball attached to it by an elastic string. Some-
times when she goes downtown, I think she will not come back.
You can find this poem and more in Otherwise: New & Selected Poems by Jane Kenyon.