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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Small Change...





An ocean clam, father's huge hand opened each Friday
Silver flashed bright, a nickel, a dime, possibly even a quarter
Siblings dancing excitedly at the prospect of allowance
Grinning from ear to ear, exhilaration barely contained


Boots, mitts, coat adorned, I gleefully ran out the house 
Spring, slowly peeking around old man winter's curtain
Icy snow melt forming cold rivulets from driveway to street
A long watery finger, pointing to my habitual Friday locale


Arriving at my destination, within view, a large rectangular grate
Pitch black, with mud, leaves and debris crusting dark edges
River twigs, tiny little boats cascading toward infinity, destination oblivion
Endless sparkling streams of life unknowingly reaching for mortality


Single snow soaked woolen mitten, peeled back to reveal glittering wealth
Chilled little hand, somewhat warmed by three coins pasted to palm
One by one, slivers of silver fall, then are captured by the pond below
Dancing to and fro until each settle evenly amongst collected friends


Peaceful revere with the sewer, dashed by the slamming of our front door
Father, coat dancing across broad shoulders, unbuckled boots jingling
Steaming kettle, which is his head, belching out an angry red-faced siren
How could it be, I am the object of his grotesque displeasure?


Brisk air flashes against my warm buttocks, balls and tackle
Shiny coins dancing aloft, captured by the morning sun upon shards of light
Strange perspective, glittering change punctuated by sharp smacks of pain
Tears blur the composite, a fresh wail to welcome each searing assault


Lesson earned, processed, then awkwardly downloaded into my psyche
Money is a treasure which must be respected, a gift I did not deserve
Resolved I was, to never again take from father a dime which I did not earn
Somehow, in the back of my mind, I knew this lesson was not about money


Shaving grey whiskers, I reflect upon the fateful day long since passed
Small change was not being tossed in a sewer, each coin represented love
I did not feel deserving of love, nor the gifts a father bestows upon his child
Unreservedly, I knew myself as a beggar, stealing scraps from another child's table


Hold your greatest possessions with an open hand
Fear not they should fall, fly away nor be taken
Each moment of your life is a treasured gift
We soar atop currents of unconditional love