i miss the days wandering around Macy’s with you

committed to the 75% off rack

thumbing through mostly abandon off season shirts

a button missing

a zipper broken

my mom was a seamstress

a button or zipper was what she learned at age 8

when we liked something we held it up to her and then me

the price always below $10 to keep it as a contender to come home with us

i light a candle for you mom

next to the photo of you and i

faces pressed against each other

with bright smiles

when life’s biggest decision for us was thumbing through the 75% off rack

bringing home our bargains with a missing button.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.