on their final

European excursion,

my practical mother

bought me a simple

souvenir from some

quaint tourist shop in

Prague, a capital city,

where she and her

friends shopped

while the husbands

snapped photos –

everyone trying to

capture a memory.


every time i hold

these nesting dolls

i see her warm smile,

accept her gift again

(small enough to fit

my mind’s suitcase)

wondering how she

knew that her first


(a boy she’d never

meet on this earth)

would ask me with

big shining eyes,

“please play?”

with the painted

miniatures of

smooth wooden

generations each

carrying the next,

blooming with bright

promise of precious

new arrival.


perhaps you consider

it all rather kitschy

but i cannot help but

exclaim over the wee

baby one with kisses.



(These “matryoshka” nesting dolls are a Russian tradition, often made in China and sold as souvenirs in the Czech Republic!)

Written in response to Mary’s prompt, “looking for treasure”, at d’VersePoets.