• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09

The Visit

Grandma’s peppermint purse
held everything:
wipes for glasses,
blue, green, and yellow thread,
five lipstick tubes,
an address book,
seven pencils, eleven pens,
pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
clinking—cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching.

We could barely lift it,
but it swung easily from her arm.
We rubbed the fuzzy fabric, made
dark lines one way, light lines the other.
Her bright orange umbrella
kept her dry or shaded
or tap-tapped on the sidewalk.
She was like the postman:
neither rain, nor snow, nor heat
could stop her.

Purse swinging,
umbrella swaying,
sensible shoes striding,
she nodded to strangers,
stopped to check on neighbors,
pet every dog she met.


The Visit

We thought she’d never arrive,
never open her purse
to envelop us
in a cloud of peppermint.