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Penny

June 25, 2009

A pip, a tip, once a minute
of parking, its worth snipped,
a coin less in diameter or value
than a nickel yet brighter, warm sun
to a five-cent moon — so how did it roll
down to ground level, flat
disc lying unretrieved on streets,
forlorn beside the parking meters
it can no longer feed?

I’m penny-wise and foolish
about artifacts, keep penny bowls
on bookshelves, as if the penny and I, now middle-
aged, had grown up in the same town,
walked the same streets, rolled to the beach
on Saturdays. The cent has diminished
though not dimmed, while I’ve dimmed
and enlarged my diameter.
It’s natural between old friends, the change
of places. We might be change
made from the same register,
sad breakdowns of a haughty dime
taxed to the minutest, rendered
and reckoned as beyond Caesar’s interest, left
to the heart’s differently hued
apportion and shine.

by Rachel Dacus

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  1. June 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Nice! Especially love that last line.

  2. June 26, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Thanks, Joanne.

  3. Claire Keyes
    June 30, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Rachel—-your poem is a delight. The word play is fabulous. Thanks for an enjoyable read this cloudy, rainy morning.

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