When Susan Lost Her Purse

We lived in a small Texas town
Back in our younger days,
Where the major shopping center
Was eighty miles away.

Occasionally we would plan,
When we would need to go,
To take the family to the park
Or to a picture show.

I vividly recall one time,
I still can feel the pain,
That after shopping we had planned
To see a baseball game.

Soon after we had left the mall
Where we had shopped at first,
I heard my daughter, Susan, say,
“Hey Dad! I’ve lost my purse.”

Unsympathetic, I replied
With voice designed to sting,
“Once you have learned their value, Dear,
You’ll not be losing things.”

Incessantly I talked about
The value, price, and cost.
Interminably I raved on
About the purse she lost.

No doubt she felt the guilt and pain
That my tirade produced,
But bore her feelings silently
And offered no excuse.

Not once did it occur to me
About how much it hurt
A little girl to realize
That she had lost her purse.

No sooner had we reached the park
And settled in our seats,
To my chagrain, I learned that I
Had lost my set of keys.

I was reluctant to announce
The foolish thing I’d done.
As I sat pondering my fate,
The umpire yelled, “Strike one!”

No need for me to wait for him
Strike two and three to shout.
No arbiter was needed to
Tell me that I’d struck out!

My first reaction to my state
Was not the price or cost,
But how impatient I had been
With Susan in her loss.

She took the blame for what she did;
No offer to rebut.
Perspective changes when the shoe
Is on the other foot!

My recent words came roaring back
Condemning what I’d done.
I had no keys to start my car
At night, far, far from home.

I finally said, “I’ve lost my keys!”
I could no longer wait.
I looked at Susan and beheld
A smile upon her face!

A smile that vividly rehearsed
The words of my refrain,
“Once you have learned their value, Dad,
You’ll not be losing things!”

She sat there silently and smiled.
To speak there was no need,
For I knew she knew that I knew
My act had set her free!

She didn’t rant and rave at me
Or wring her hands and pace,
But loudly sent a message by
The smile upon her face.

The P. A. system squawked and popped
And made a mournful sound.
Then someone said, to my relief,
“Some car keys have been found.”

The journey back was very quiet,
Not much left to be said.
The moment we arrived at home,
Miss Susan went to bed.

Still plagued with guilt, I tiptoed in
To tell her that I cared.
She was asleep, but on her face,
A smile still lingered there!