The Last Pert Bottle

The Last Pert Bottle

Today I let it go,
The last bottle of your favorite shampoo,
The one that I had to keep,
To use,
So that I could smell its fragrance
And feel you close to me.
I shook my head,
Smiling as I remembered your must-have brands,
Bush’s Black-eyed Peas,
Green Giant Italian Cut Green Beans,
Rave Hairspray, extra hold,
Pet-Ritz Pie Crusts,
Viva Paper towels.
How many times I teased you about being so particular,
How many times you told me that you’d gotten to the age
Where you should have whatever you want
After doing without for so many lean years.
I can’t walk down the aisle of the grocery store
Without thinking of you,
Without smiling.
And then, I laugh at myself,
So very much your daughter,
As I carefully shop for my own favorite brands.
I feel you smiling, shaking your head,
Laughing,
I see the twinkle in your blue eyes,
Hear your words,
“One day, Neese, you’ll understand.”
Yes, Ma’am, I finally do.


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