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[Gods, this is getting freaking harder and harder. I thought a poem a day was bad! Writing time: 5 minutes]

N is for Nickel

She had hair the color of pennies. Not shiny copper, not worn copper either. But pennies that had been left in someone’s pocket, washed, stuck wet between the folds of fabric, turned green at the edges.

“All that chlorine,” my mother said, snippily. She said a lot of things snippily that summer, all of her words opening and closing like scissors. “Slut.” Snip. “Your father.” Snick. “Come on.” Slice.

My mother’s nails, too, were sharp that summer, always digging into the pale flesh of my inner arm. When I think back on that summer, I think of heat, and my mother tugging me somewhere, and the copper-green shine of wet hair dripping down a sun-bronzed back.

My mother’s dead now. My father’s dead too. It’s just her and me, now. Tea in the afternoons, a few games of Go Fish when she’s up to it. Sometimes we just sit and watch TV.

I hold her hand. She doesn’t remember my name. Or why i come to visit her every Sunday. And her hair is white, see-through as melting snow.

But when I take an old penny from my pocket, flip it, heads or tails, she watches it soar, that green-gold glimmer and shine.


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