I Want to be a Penny

I want to be a penny,

laying on rails,

waiting for a train.


Have you ever seen a penny after fifty grain cars flatten it into oblong coolness?


I’m tired

of worthless,

collected in topless mason jars,


just to be stolen

for some blow or a little weed.


I want to be cool,

smashed into something somebody finds,

and says,

“Wow, check this out.”

Instead of,

“Tails, bad luck,”

and cast inside some leafless bush.


A thousands tons of oblong creating coolness.


I want to be a penny,

laying on rails,

waiting for a train.


Just thinking, he might love me then.


24 thoughts on “I Want to be a Penny

  1. damn henry….have puta penny on the rails before…to want to beone though…great turn on it and the emo it would take to get there…also like the inclusionof mason jars and collecting pennies (makes a nice metaphor for a few things in life, but love in particular)…tails, bad luck evokes that relationship metaphor too….anyway very nice…

  2. tired of being average..tired of being overlooked…tired of being worthless….so many people are henry and wow..you found the words and the metaphor…smashed into something…and even if broken…love your take on the prompt

  3. Very imaginative and searing, branding right into my heart, Henry. We are not worthless pocket change: having felt that way for many moons, I have decided I’m a pretty good person– a huge revolution in my life. I hope that for each of us. xxxj

  4. Wonderful take on trains. Two things come to mind… my father-in-law teaching my 5 and 3 year-olds how to put a penny on the rails and watch it flatten. Was not happy about their weekend with grandpa. And a boy in our community who put himself on the rails… it happens and is so sad. Nice write.

  5. yah no one likes a penny, they are a nuisance, but in the hands of a child a penny is worth a million dollars, it’s all about who is holding you, who sees the value in that penny, love this

  6. Another fantastic write Henry…in a tone a little different than your usual voice. My goodness, we used to do that as kids…they were amazing to be seen after the flattening! Today has been flashback after flashback for me! Love that image as well…her thoughtful gaze, the smoke…yup, flashback…and a few MORE goosebumps! One of those days…glad you were a part of it 🙂

  7. hedgewitch says:

    This whole poem is full of different angles, different takes–plenty of room for all kinds of metaphysical conjectures–great spaces. And I like the direction you go in the end, that female perspective doesn’t always come so naturally, but works well for you here. Good stuff, especially all the things you made me think about.

  8. Fabulous poem, it sure caught my breath…and I understand the emotions. As far as the literal – I’ve quite a few smashed pennies, have no idea where they came from or anything but I think they’re just something cool to have around. I’d like to think a good story or two.

  9. Liked that song, Henry. I’m curious, which came first…, the poem or the photo? A wonderful write on the ‘do anything for it’, need to be loved…

    collected in topless mason jars,
    just to be stolen

    great perspective.

  10. I’m with Hedge – thought this has a ghazal feel (as if I had a handle on those yet!), but it is cool, gritty, and at the same time effortless. Amazing way the thought as thought takes shape and becomes. Really loved it, and the picture as well. Wow!

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