Noon. The café line snakes by the handbags, fine leather goods meant to entice—a Givenchy GV3 Diamond Quilted Crossbody Bag, a Nancy Gonzalez
Cristie Linen & Genuine Crocodile Tote, a Devotion Leather Shoulder Bag, adorned with an oversized heart, lustrous imitation pearls detailing the envelope flap—
all secured to metal cables and the airy sparkling display of glass and gold. We giggle, almost, as we try to resurrect the price tags, buried in a zippered compartment,
giddy school girls, under the scrutiny of the salesperson who materializes from nowhere. Just looking. Seating saves us. We order our usual—Cranberry Turkey
and Tuscan Roasted Salmon. Lunch talk stretches for hours, chemo and chaos, Poetry and CBD. Things the heart must hold.
How it’s time to say yes to what matters. To stop saying sorry when we need to say no. No need to check words for genuine or imitation.
*This poem won second Honorable Mention in the “Poetry for Purses” Competition in honor of Kate Spade and suicide prevention.
Gail Goepfert, an associate editor at RHINO Poetry, is a Midwest poet, photographer, and teacher. She has two published books: A Mind on Pain (2015) and Tapping Roots (2018). Get Up Said the World will appear in 2019 from Červená Barva. She’s received four Pushcart Prize Nominations. Recent or forthcoming publications include Kudzu House, Stone Boat, Postcard, Poems and Prose Magazine, Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, Bluestem, and Beloit Poetry Journal. Please see more at gailgoepfert.com.