Ten cents

My foot disturbed something in the grass. Bending over, I instructed my fingers to find it; bring it into my field of sight. they took their time, fumbling around and refusing to work together.

Feeling it’s shape, I knew what it was even before they finally showed it; a ten cent piece. Once treasure, now more like trash. I remember when ten cents bought a loaf of bread; warm unsliced crusty bread who’s smell drifted into my hungry stomach, along with secretly picked off crumbs.

When ten cents bought the biggest icecream ever seen; hokey pokey waiting to slide all over my fingers and into my mouth. Except, I had to share with my sisters; they were greedy. I would grip the cone whilst they bit great chunks off; no finesse. I liked to lick the icecream soft and smooth into a perfect shape, finding the chunks of hokey pokey treasure; the sisters laughed as they ruined my sculpture.

Ten cents. Back when men were men, and didn’t they show it, with their belts and fists creating deep patterns on wives skins, and children’s hearts. When words were allowed to cause pain, divide families, and the Darwinian triangle determined our status in the world.

Ten cents. Swapped for illicit smokes behind the bike-shed, prostituting ourselves for cancer.

And what will this ten cents buy now? I consider the effort of unclasping my purse, with fingers that won’t obey simple instructions.

This ten cents could buy me a blackball sweet at the diary; a sugar-coated toxic trip down memory lane to suck on. Who on earth wants that? Not my sisters; the ground has swallowed them into it’s folds long ago, in deep bites.

I raise my arm, telling my fingers to throw that ten cent piece away, but they ignore me. It bounces on my foot, bruising in passing, and returns to the grass; someone else’s treasure.

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