Counting Pennies

it was her idea to count the pennies
the promise of a piggy bank
the sorrow of shattered porcelain
red copper bleeding onto the bedsheet
Lincoln staring down history
again, again, again, again

it wasn’t my idea to count pennies
rot brown of paper coin wrappers
her cinnamon scent, so so close
destiny stacked 50¢ by 50¢
Lincoln lowered into his grave
again, again, again, again

counting pennies was how she loved me
carefully but with all her heart
sitting beside me in the vault
fortunes sealed behind ten inches of steel
Lincoln enters the opera house
again, again, again, againChristopher Schwartz is a contributing author for the Philadelphia City Paper. He writes memorials for local soldiers slain in the Iraq War. He is also co-founder and co-editor of Thinking-East (
and New Eurasia ( He has lived and worked in Philadelphia, London, and Jerusalem.

Leave a Reply