“…if you do not know yourselves
then you are in poverty,
and you are the poverty.”
logion 3, The Gospel of Thomas
i emptied my pockets with rattling and scattered coins on the dresser.
facing me, an obtrusive un-welcomed ever-present mirror.
i could not look away; i was centered within its paint chipped borders.
off to the edge, a stack of black-and-white old family photos;
mixed in with a bunch of sticky colored Polaroid’s
of a motorcycle weekend and penny arcades at Weirs Beach.
and, blurry ones of a start-up rock and roll band
“jamming” at the Beanstalk variety store.
(it’s still at the junction of route 106 and Canterbury road).
i can hear the screeching tires on the curves of Gunstock
and the giggling, lovemaking, in a pup tent between laps.
the racers often change the lead before the lovers
pressed themselves, arm and arm, against the fence again.
i can see in their Polaroid eyes, nothing cared except to be there.
it was a black and white transition for me then.
pushed up against the mirror, an old mason jar
half full with silver coins. nickels, dimes, quarters,
and one unspent Kennedy half-dollar. a permanent resident.
i found that faded earth smeared mason jar digging in an old bottle dump;
carried it in my backpack, hitchhiking down many promising roads.
never did fill it. always dipped into it. emergency funds, you know.
on the floor beside the dresser, getting harder to push aside,
squats a fading bluish plastic water cooler jug, three-quarters full of pennies.
my retirement, i suppose.