The Ballad of the Billfold




by Orv Alveshere



A couple was married in ’34;

The Depression made ranching very poor.

At Christmas they drew other family names;

That custom for years was always the same.

She didn’t think to buy for her new groom;

Receiving one gift is what she’d assumed.

So her first gift was so unexpected;

Her composure couldn’t be collected.

Yes, a gift from her groom, she did receive;

And his bride cried on their first Christmas Eve.



And how she’d wished that she would have thought

Of a gift for her groom…she would have bought.

That night the stores were closed, so there was no way

That she could buy a gift on Christmas Day.

And when the stores were opened, we have been told;

She rode a horse to buy a leather billfold.

It’s a loving message that you’ve perceived;

That was the best gift he’d ever received,

Because his bride cried, on that Christmas Eve.

Yes, my mother cried on that first Christmas Eve.



When all the years of wear began to show;

He wouldn’t part with it, as you might know.

Those 4 new billfolds were in his drawer

And on Christmas Eve he received 2 more.

How any clerk at any store, must have thought

If I were his spouse, new billfolds would be bought.

It wore paper thin and split at the end.

It often separated when it would bend.

After all those years, we can all believe;

He recalled, his bride, cried, that Christmas Eve.

(a 49 cent billfold)


(C) Orv Alveshere (Copyright 1993)

Published in “America at the Millennium: Best Poems of the Century”

(by Publisher’s request)