Lost, Lamented and Found

by Regina Beach

I. Lost

A Bristolian fox stole my wallet
My track suit pockets have the bad habit
Of expelling their contents on the floor
When I get out of the car
They’re all I wear now, 
Since we started working from home
I shouldn’t’ve gone out
Nipped down to the shop
In a moment of weakness
I’d quit, but got a hankering
I didn’t even tell the missus
Knowing she’d tell me not to go
She bought me that wallet before we were married
You can’t replace memories like that
Watching rooftop fireworks hand in hand,
Late night Singapore noodles after pints in the pub
My license, cards, 80 quid,
And the shame of having to tell her I got the fags 
But lost everything else

II. Lamented

I bought that wallet in the tanneries of Fez
Watching the men from the balcony of a leather goods shop
As they jumped waist-deep in ammonia, salt and dye
Swirling the cowhides with long hooks
In the before times, when we were allowed to travel
I brought back a journal and a necklace for me
And a wallet for my sweetheart, at his request
He buys the best gifts; I’m forever practical
Which is why I bit my tongue, gritted my teeth 
And told him to cancel his cards
That he was lucky his license was lost 
And not taken by the cops
I didn’t need to scold him, it’s just money 
He’d retraced his steps
The car, the walk – the clerk hadn’t seen it
And if the junkies outside the gas station found it 
Then it’s already long gone

III. Found

Since my husband died, I’ve found great solace in the soil
Nurturing the hydrangea, the rose bushes 
And keeping the ivy at bay
I found a wallet in my garden the other day
Out in the front while weeding my hedgerows
Lo and behold the battered leather appeared
Looking like a fox or a dog had got hold of it
From the the bitten corners and gnashed banknotes
I pride myself on humility and honesty
Only opening it to find out to whom it belonged
Saw that it was the property of a young man down the road
I cleaned myself up, put on a mask and walked to number 67
He looked shocked when I handed it to him
Must have been gone a long time
He thanked me and slid the battered billfold in his pocket
Isn’t it nice when a knock brings good news for a change?

Regina Beach is an American writer based in Bristol, UK. She is most at home pedaling her bicycle or on her yoga mat. The narrators of the three parts of this poem are her husband, herself and the kind old lady down the street who really did return her husband’s wallet. Read more of Regina’s writing and listen to her podcast at ReginaGBeach.com. The photograph that accompanies her poem is her own.

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