A Gift Returned

The box came back without a note.
In it, the woolen shawl I bought
to keep her warm, the white

and gold of winter sun, made
in Scotland. I felt five again,
little girl with a frizzy perm

looking down at her shoes.
Lonely, too, as when I knew
by her touch my mother’s

disappointment giving birth
to a daughter, bound to become
a woman like herself.

I was no lovely woolen shawl
she could return
without an explanation.

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