Evening Poetry, May 8

My Mother

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

of fish.

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.

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