A Currency Lass

uni
This autumn
I collect currency—
in the shadow of gothic arches,
pile up towers of silver and gold.

I hoard them in the dash
or toss them into pouches;

two gold, one silver
for the tollway,
three smaller gold
for the parking metre.

As bank notes enter
my purse, I spin them into coin—riches
for a counterfeit poverty.

On the library steps
I search my book-laden bag
. . . more change for cappuccino.

The weight of the NAMES,
gilt-lettered on leather spines,
labelled on these locked office doors.

I clutch my empty purse,
my blank-lined page.

I still need two gold coins
and a silver for the trip home.

  Julie Thorndyke

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