Today's poem is by Jenny Hanning


At the Children's Museum they collect pennies in a penny pit. It
started as a fountain, but was overwhelmed by wishes. Someone
thought it pretty, so the fountain was emptied and disposed of.
In its place, a trench installed. There's a little plaque: A million
and counting!
My heartbeat changes to an uphill pace. And
counting. When I was a child I used to say everything twice, first
to myself then aloud. Words are such fragile things. To speak
them is always to risk them. The fountain was downgraded to a
memory, the world is quickly overrun. In Florida, where the sea
turtles hatch on a beach that stretches alongside the highway,
they've changed the bulbs in all the streetlamps. The color of the
light drew the new turtles out onto the blacktop and they were
flattened like acorns on a playground. The light is more yellow
now, or was more yellow, and is now more white. It's so easy
to say the wrong thing. To say something that's incorrect. We
should all be careful. A million and counting! At the Children's
Museum the mothers go through their pocketbooks. They come
up with linty fistfuls. Fistfuls, and the children throw.

Copyright © 2009 Jenny Hanning All rights reserved
from Harpur Palate
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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