The day my husband buys me a Mandarina Duck rose dawn wallet

I can’t help but think that the rose leather reeks and that it is insipid compared to my well-worn red and black one. The one I bought with our then four-year-old son, on a trip to the Costa del Sol. The one with a vaccination sticker on, and faded geometric patterns, battered through to the lining. Yes, after all the years that he has not wrapped a present for me, this year, he bought me a wallet. And although my best friend says it’s not a big deal, and that it could sit in a drawer, it’s strange how much weight you can feel, in an empty wallet. And ironic the brand is Mandarina Duck, and that my sister calls me Mrs. Shoveler because of my pout. And when I thank him and say there was no need since we agreed to have a separate Christmas, I think of all the Burberry wallets given from Japanese husbands to their wives. And when he turns and says he is going to tell me a secret, I feel incredibly awkward. But what he actually says is that he wants me to carry a comfortable wallet. Because if the money feels comfortable, it will not want to leave a good wallet.

Shortlisted by Billy Collins for the 2022 Fish Prize

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