Penny for Thought

by Joseph Salemi

After we had torn down the chicken coop
(Half-rotted eyesore, sprawling and unused)
Something caught my eye, and made me stoop.

A penny green with verdigris. Amused,
I picked it up, and 1894
Sat in my palm. A heavy, bolted door
Opened as if by incantation bidden.
The old curmudgeon in me was enthused—
A century it lay there, and refused
To join in our stupidities, but hidden,
Maintained aloof and haughty isolation.

Mute character was stamped upon its face—
Unchanging guard that held its little station
And scorned to run the currency’s mad race.