Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Copper Pennies

As I was emptying my pockets before retiring for the night, I dropped a penny on the floor.
It brought a thought about how we treat the penny in this modern age. They do not mean much anymore. There was a time from 1793 to 1837, when the penny was made entirely of copper.
It had value. In 1837, they changed the composition to bronze. Pennies are not made of copper any longer. It became too expensive. Throughout the years, it has changed numerous times until 1982 they became 97.5 % zinc and 2.5% copper-plated zinc.
It remains so today. Except, it isn’t of much value. Did you know it costs almost .0125 cents to produce a coin that is valued at .01 cent? Could it be that people in general disregard a penny lying on the ground because it has no value? Who stoops to pick up a penny?
It crossed my mind that some people correlate that with persons who seem to fit a pattern of “worn out”, obsolete and perhaps “used up”. Who stoops to pick up a derelict?
I hope you can get the meaning of this poem. At my age, it certainly speaks to me. Just because the coin I see laying on the floor happens to be of no significant value does not mean it is no less importance in our society. An old, obsolete copper-clad penny not worth picking up? May it never be so!

Copper Penny

In my dreams, I touched reality.
Along the way, rested a penny by the wayside,
well-worn, discolored, begging to be picked up.
People passed by, disinclined to stoop over
for an obsolete, copper-clad penny.

In my dreams, I touched cynicism.
If I were, a frayed, tattered, antiquated soul,
like a penny, languishing by the wayside,
Would people pass by and refuse to bend over
for an obsolete, copper-clad penny?

In my dreams, I touched certainty
If I were a crisp, sliver of green currency,
Like a treasured icon of extravagance,
Selfish people would stumble over themselves.
But, not for an obsolete, copper-clad penny.

In my dreams, I touched optimism.
That this would not portray legitimacy
of a pompous, arrogant and disdainful society.
Stoop, bend down, won’t you pick up
this old obsolete copper-clad penny?

                                                                                              Pete Robertson
                                                                                              September 2012

Have a nice day.

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One thought on “Copper Pennies

  1. How sweet is the poem about the penny. So sad that many are not taught pennies add up to something when put together with others. Individually, not seen as much. But if there are enough of them, they add up to something bigger than could be imagined as just one.
    Perhaps we as people should realize we may be doing the same thing with each other. As one, we may feel not worth much, as many we add up.
    I hope we will understand that when we go to vote in November and make that vote count against the diabolical liar now in office.

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