Pocket Change

Untitled by Nick Cruz; Ink on paper

Pocket Change
by Nancy J. Barbara

Two pockets –
One stashes cash
for bums and beggars.

Not a large sum:
a few crinkled bills
and jangly change
is all.

The other carries two kinds of currency:
a wad of uncounted
dough in disarray
to spend like Monopoly money,
carefully counted crisp bills
money-clipped in chronological order.
Famous faces facing
Fistfuls of ones,
a few fives
twenties by the dozens.
One thousand dollars
in all.

Always silver-clipped with a
capital cursive “F”
Not a dollar more.
Not a dollar less.
Not just on Sunday
to pad the passing tithing basket.
Not just Monday to Friday
to pay the bills.
Not just Saturday night
to spend on the boardwalk –
Not at all.

Late at night
my father,
caught by a spotlight of moon
left on the dinning room table
like an empty yellow plate,
would sit and sort his money in solitaire rows.
takes all.

2 thoughts on “Pocket Change

  1. Diana says:

    Nan, it is good to read your poetry again! I’m so glad you steered me to it. Wonderful lead in to the poignant ending.

  2. Shannon Lane says:

    I like this poem. I can see the characters house and the area they live in just bythe detailed writing in this poem. I still have questions about the meaning but thats the point of poetry. It can be stretched to all possible imaginations.

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