Ode to My Red Purse


Last week I wrote a post about my lucky red shoes.

This week, I’m writing about another red accessory - the red purse that couldn’t be pried from my hands when I was a young lass - even for hikes when I had a perfectly functional knapsack.

If there is any doubt, I am the brunette in the center. Flanking me are lifelong friends and siblings, Tom and Katharine.

Upon seeing my red shoe photo last week, Katharine made this comment on Facebook: “Did you have your matching red purse?”

There aren’t too many people on the planet who know about my red purse days. It’s nice having friends who have known you a long time - friends who can reach back into moments and memories that happened at least 50 years ago.

And, so, in honor of Katharine’s memory of my little red purse, I write this poem.- which is a bit ironic since the red shoe post from last week was inspired by getting my big girl purse stolen while we were vacationing in Boston. Without further ado…I bring you an Ode to My Red Patent Leather Purse.

Ode to My Red Patent Leather Purse

Red patent leather

A piece-of-toast-sized rectangle

With a brass snap

That shut with a loud click!



And always with me

No matter what.

It came to preschool,

To Market Basket,

And even on mountain hikes.

The perfect accessory when I was

Dressed up in red Keds.

Adult things

Like keys, cash, and lipstick

Were in my mom’s purse,

But not mine.

I had precious kid collections.

Barbie shoes,


Candy wrappers,

And bird feathers,

Fallen from the sky.

My red purse let me walk around

Like a big girl

Keeping treasures of childhood close.


One of the greatest treasures of my childhood was skiing, backpacking, and camping adventures with Katharine, our brothers (Yo, Mike and Tommy!), and our amazing parents who made all those trips possible. (Fun fact - those amazing parents who began their friendship as college teenagers are still going strong - traveling together on all sorts of adventures!)

I’ll end with an all grown-up picture of Katharine. It was taken almost 18 years ago, when I was treating my overworked bridesmaids to high tea at the Huntington Library the day before my wedding. As you can see, she surprised me with a brand new red purse for the next stage of my life.

So thanks, Katharine, for taking me down Memory Lane this week. It’s been way too long since we’ve hung out. I hope we can get together soon and even do some purse shopping. After recent events, it seems that I need a new one.

Always writing,