Brown Paper Bag
by Lillian Ramirez

Thank you I whisper and walk away
brown paper bag, box inside,
nothing fancy, no big deal.
brown paper bag, box inside,
just a parting gift
the weight increasing
heavy like a whole body, no,
like an entire continent,

and i remember the feel
of my mother’s soft hand
as we crossed this street
on the way back from school
when I was a child, but that was years ago
and this is today, my mother in hand,

carrying the crushing weight of the world
falling to my knees and someone asking
are you okay?
No, I am saying or sobbing--
this is all I have left in a box in this bag,
as the light turns green as I pick myself up
and cross alone.

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