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Black Leather Pouch

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Below is the poem entitled Black Leather Pouch which was written by poet Katie Telling. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Black Leather Pouch

I stood before the mirror
in my violet cotton shirt
and jeans from the Gap,
with combed brown hair 
falling just below my shoulders,
my backpack in tow.
Small but mighty,
there I was,
ready to be one of 
the big kids now.

I held on tightly to my mom's hand
on the corner of Hazel and Greenleaf,
anxiously awaiting the arrival 
of the yellow school bus
to take me off to my first day
as a 1st grader. 

She sensed my nerves
and knelt down beside me,
placing a small black leather pouch necklace
in my hand.
"Put this around your neck
and whenever you start to feel
scared or lonely at school,
just rub the pouch and I'll be there,"
she said with a smile.

I clutched the pouch 
in my hand as the school bus
pulled up to the corner
and opened its doors. 
Charlie the bus driver
welcomed kids with a warm smile,
but I didn't want to let go of mom's hand.
With the pouch in my right hand,
and her hand in my left,
everything was right.
But as the last of the other kids
boarded the bus,
I knew it was time to let go
of mom's hand.

I waved one more time from the bus
as I sat down on the sticky brown
school bus seats.
I looked out the window
trying to hold onto my mom
with my eyes until
I couldn't see her anymore.

I felt the tears begin to well,
and my lower lip trembled,
the only thing I wanted 
was to be back with my mom.
I took the pouch out of my hand,
and slipped it over my head
onto my neck.
Closing my eyes
I rubbed the pouch,
and just like she said,
she was there with me
holding my hand.

Years later 
on a humid day in late September
I stood in front of the mirror
in my apartment,
wearing a yellow tank top 
and a loose brown skirt,
my short hair pulled back
in a ponytail.
As the time came for me to leave,
all I wanted to do was cry.
I wish mom was here to hold my hand,
I thought, looking down at my
empty hands.
I grabbed my bag from my chair,
and a worn black leather pouch
fell from the chair onto the carpet.
I stared at it for just a moment,
and then picked it up and tied it tightly 
to the strap on my bag.
As I walked into the room
for my first day as a big girl
in the real world.
I realized I was rubbing the pouch
with the fingers on my right hand,
just as I did on the first day of 
the 1st grade.

I knew she was there with me
holding my hand through my struggles,
just like she promised me years earlier
while waiting for the bus
on the corner of Hazel and Greenleaf.

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  1. Date: 10/18/2010 6:12:00 PM
    Katie, a wonderful poem full of thoughtful memories. Enjoyed your poem,..p.d.