My Green Velvet Purse | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

My Green Velvet Purse 

The shrinking is gradual
as the expanded wires
lock under the gold clasp
concealing my popsicle
pink lipstick
the bluebirds embroidered
on my lace handkerchief
and of course
the rosary beads.
Mother warned
"Never go anywhere
without your rosary."
As though those cold hard
crystals could bring me comfort.
There is no comfort in crystals
only in the touch of exposed
velvet gathering at the opening
where the whole being
comes together
under that crucial cap of gold.

— Joanne Samraney

Joanne Samraney wrote two poetry chapbooks: Grounded Angels, which won the 2001 Acorn-Rukeyser Award, and Remaking Driftwood, a finalist in the 2010 Finishing Line Press Chapbook Contest. She also co-authored Breaking Bread with the Boscos, a collection of family memoirs and recipes. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines and journals, most recently in Earth's Daughters, Steam Ticket, Hudson's View, Evening Street Review and Edge. She was a finalist in both the Panhandler and Perivale poetry chapbook contests, served on the International Poetry Forum's Board of Associates and was part of a performance poetry group called Tea Time Ladies. She lives in Whitehall. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM.


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