My pocketbook is a favorite thing;
I keep it close like a diamond ring.
It’s the first thing I see in morning light
and the last thing I put away at night.
It’s soft yet sturdy, is tossed here and there;
I keep telling myself: treat it with care.
Once, it was new and stood out like a star.
Now, it is greasy from fries spilled in car,
has crayon mark on its long leather strap,
been used like a pillow for grandkid’s nap.
Its zippered compartments hold stuff, you see,
like checkbook, tissues, my extra car key,
safety pins, paper, phone numbers, a card,
last year’s receipts from big sale in front yard,
lipstick, toothpick, one old quarter, one new,
dog-eared pictures, bottle of Elmer’s glue;
trident, spearmint, my state’s license to drive.
It contains nothing I need to survive,
and yet I take it wherever I go,
vacation out West, I had it in tow.
In desert, we stopped to rest for a while.
As husband checked engine, I said that I’ll
sit down at this picnic table nearby.
I jumped when I heard a sharp, sudden cry.
“Bring pocketbook!” husband said with a shout.
“Need your key! Car’s running and I’m locked out!”
c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols