Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lost and Found:
Today I found a dime in the street.
I was not surprised; I had known it was there all along.
I lost it when I was six at noon on a summer day
From the pocket of my dress which did not have a hole in it.
My mother gave me the dime for my lunch.
I tripped my way to Calfo’s corner market,
Where we bought Groceries most Saturdays,
To buy a jar of pureed liver and bacon, my favorite.
And after I crossed the only street on my way,
The dime, made of silver and shiny, had disappeared!
I had only taken it out only once—to look at it, to feel it.

I retraced my steps using my young sharp eyes,
But with my eyes so full of tears, I could not find it.
Dimes were rare and precious.
A nickel would buy an ice cream,
But a dime would buy a good lunch;
Mama didn’t have another one to spare.

I entered the store and told my tearful story.
Mrs. Calfo gave me the jar,
And I skipped the whole way home
Careful not to drop my precious purchase.
Was it a charge my mother repaid? Maybe.
I never told; I never asked.
But today I have the dime back.
It has traveled a long way
From the center of the city to a suburb.
Its thin edges roughened by the road surface and traffic,
It’s dull now and worn.
I can’t read the date.
It must be mine—I lost it a long time ago.

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