by Patrice Vecchione, from Faith and Doubt (New York: Henry Holt, 2007)
$10,000 in coins, anyway.
Enough to fill a few five-gallon jugs.
When his friend asked for a loan,
"Take this," said my father,
pointing to a bottle full
of the small money
other men leave behind.
A kind of fath in the possibility
a nickel has.
The wristwatch I wear daily
was left on a park bench
till my father came along.
Once, shortly after my mother left,
bills were due and Dad was down
to soda crackers and cigar butts.
In line to buy a cigar,
with his shoe,
he needed for a fifty.
Most people look in the wrong direction,
locating faith above them.
Pennies don't fall
They're down below; more likely
to be found near sewer drains,
on the asphalt, beside dog droppings
and spent matches, worn shoes
even beggars leave behind.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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