give a penny, take a penny – there were mason jars gabbing by her sink – copper water soaking, disinfecting, cleansing coins of dirty fingers and stomping snow-filled boots. pennies are only lucky if found face-up on a sidewalk, staring into strangers’ eyes, begging to give good fortune. I started turning tail-up pennies on sides, praying I’d push wealth onto penniless men, while wondering about Auntie Bertha and her three-step penny perfecting plan: is this one that bathed by her kitchen sink?
Pennies aren’t worth heaps, 1/100th of a dollar; 1/1000th of ten. when they phased themselves out, they stopped being worthy of anything, not even a mention when paying with cash: round up, round down whatever the case, don’t pay people pennies.
still I find them, amidst drainage on roadsides, molded into concrete on sidewalks. a penny for your thoughts; pennies for dreams. I learned at a young age that to take care of pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves. if they aren’t worth a pretty penny, I think, why should I take time to shine them? laughter fills my ears, a cup of tea and a slice of cheese – when the penny drops, Auntie Bertha sits across from me: a penny in exchange for authentic conversation about life, love, poetry. suddenly she says to me: “my dear, can’t you see? once everything is cleansed of dirt, it’s worth every