Triad Magazine

A Hillsborough Community College Student Publication since 1978.

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,
and
carefully counted crisp bills
money-clipped in chronological order.
Famous faces facing
left.
Fistfuls of ones,
a few fives
tens
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.
Winner
takes all.

2 comments on “Pocket Change

  1. Diana
    May 8, 2012

    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
    March 14, 2013

    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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