A Penny’s Worth

 Johnny found an Indian head penny

under the seat in his first truck,

yellow Chevy pick-up,

spotted with primer paint,

pulled it out and asked,

Hey, sis, you want this?

You could put it on a chain.

Sometimes I take it out now

these thirty years later,

wonder about its worth.

Red Coin Book says

it isn’t valuable, not rare,

but those book people don’t know.

It’s a portal

through which I see him,

still seventeen,

shiny brown eyes,

shaggy brown hair

and wonder

what he might have been.


Tinder Box

I up and disappeared today

went out, like low burning embers

in a springtime bed of ashes.


I sizzled and hissed a little

then just waned without much fuss

I reckon a few cold folks


will miss me, and one or two

may even poke at the stove

to try and rekindle me


but I’m silent for five years

except here, inside this tinder box

where I nurture this flame


keeping it alive

for my day in the dry forest.

Five Years and a Day

When my words fade
to archives, covered with dust
then I will be as a spider web
wet with autumn dew
which holds the world
in its moment but melts
before winter’s dawn.

Dragons and hawks
blue damselflies and golden eagles
shall look for me
but I will be far away,
trekking the backwoods,
unearthing forest treasures

for five years and a day.
Then the circle will bring me
here again, to see what still exists
and who strolls this garden.

I suppose I will come
in my bare feet, but can’t say
where I will be in five years
and one day.