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Poetry

The anvil prints tails.
The hammer, heads. Thirty
tons of pressure, and a blank
copper disk gets Lincoln
and the memorial in one bang.
Six billion a year, cut out,
stamped, and dumped
like Danae’s love shower
into a tub. Dearer to make
than to own, yet we don’t
bother to pick one up
let alone pry one out of
the road tar or gum. Still,
would we not deem it outrage
if the humble penny were
ordered to empty its desk
and leave? What happens to
Penny arcades? Penny wise,
pound foolish? And what
financial sense would high-
class diddling make, since
everyone knows a mink
for a wife costs a pretty penny,
while a mink for a mistress
is investment: a penny saved
is a penny earned. Pardon
my two-cents worth, but
periodically one has to groan
at the grind of progress, the steady
drip toward a world of me-me
and commercials, libraries
with no books to browse,
and empty piggybanks with not
a penny for your thoughts in them.


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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