I bought you a box antiqued white
and gold with a violet on the lid
matching those on the bed where our fights
began and ended over everything hidden
from Mom and Dad tucked under blankets
and drawers of boyfriends' cards
where quietly fighting avoiding a spanking
drew tears from each other from laughing so hard.
I filled it with potpourri, satin and lace
perfuming my room like the blooming
crab tree we stood under with dates
for pictures Mom took for Prom each spring.
I'd send it to you for Christmas
but no one at home knows your address.

Jane Linton, a former elementary teacher and director of UWEC Children's Center, is currently a Marriage and Family Therapist and has lived in Eau Claire with her husband for 36 years. “Anne” first appeared in NOTA (None of the Above) and is reprinted here by permission of the author.