Bonnick age 10, 2nd from left, standing
Orange Plastic Purse 1972
by Amanda Bonnick

That purse. I see it now,
orange, plastic, gold clasp,
puffed like a jelly fish,
mouth open to swallow money.

I saved pennies,
which became pound notes.
Two, and one fifty pence.
Two pounds fifty, so proud.

Riches, largesse, fortune;
I could buy sweets, comics,
presents for friends, and still
have change for a coke.

But I lost it.

I looked in every nook and niche,
every dust-filled corner,
crumb-filled cranny,
turned up nothing.

My loss remained private.
I could not confess to my mother
my carelessness with wealth.
Words rose but were swallowed.

Weeks later, after constant, fruitless,
searching, I prayed
on my scabbed knees,
by my bed

and spotted, between the mattress
and wire coils, a flash of orange.
There it was, plastic,
gold-clasped, money-filled.

I still don’t believe in god,
but do believe
in getting down on your knees
every now and then.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photo comes from a schoolfriend’s birthday party. You can tell I was very proud of my flowery, nylon suit! I am 10 years old, standing, second from left.

Bonnick Present Day

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amanda Bonnick is an actor, writer, and theatre producer living in the heart of England. Her poetry has been published in various small presses (Fire, Envoi) and she very much enjoys performing at local spoken-word events. As well as working on her poetry, she is also editing her first children’s novel.