The Purse

He made the purse for my twenty-first birthday. Cut from polished saddle leather, it was stitched with rawhide thongs; the shoulder strap fastened with bridle rings. That night I lost it, I was waiting for a bus in Venice, California. A thief, grabbing my purse, ran dodging traffic on Lincoln Boulevard and vanished into the darkness of an alley. I chased after.

And, in a Honolulu antique shop decades into the future, I finally catch up. "This purse is one of a kind–beautifully worked." The sales clerk holds it up against me, "and the perfect length for you."

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