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Nickels and Pennies

By , San Leandro, CA
Nickels and Pennies

I was sprawled on the bed
crying about the bad cards
God had dealt me
and his unfortunate choice in mothers

But, then I saw
the nickels and pennies
all neatly counted out
sitting patiently on the counter

You always made sure that my socks were clean
if it meant getting up
at 2 a.m.
made sure I had solid meals
and money when I went out with my friends

but, for you that meant
counting the nickels and pennies
searching under sofa cushions
and running around
looking for some lonely cash

bending to pick pennies of the ground
sticking fingers
through the ripped lining of your purse
shaking it intently listening for that jingly sound

I never really bothered
to think about how the money came to be
you made it seem as though
you acquired it effortlessly

I never did realize
what a struggle it must have been
to scavenge for what was needed
I just saw the money waiting for me

But, the money wasn't ever nickels and pennies
it consisted of fresh clean bills
I guess you always tried to keep
the pitiful change
for yourself

But, now I'm getting those nickels and pennies
and it hurts my heart to think
that I was mindlessly depending on you
when it's you who needs me

So, mommy, keep your nickels and pennies
I will eventually pave my own way
No, No, No you'd insist
keeping me in financial ignorance





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