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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Treasure Box

Jackie showed me his treasures.
Coins and beads in a box.
Metal compacts of tin.
Plastic envelopes,
haze obscuring their clear sides,
pennies and nickels in them.
Wear has taken their lucid inscriptions away,
making them more beautiful
in Jackie’s eyes.

He praises their age,
his enthusiasm palpable.
His latest treasure is a quarter,
a hundred and quarter plus years old.
Its face like a sea stone,
worn to a smooth outline of figures.
I could not read the coin by touching,
only the images of things
dissolving in a fog, censored forever
by waves of time.

That’s old, Papa! he says intensely,
and he is right.
There is a fierce life inside its metal,
as if every hand that touched it
left something of itself on its surface.
Jackie’s heart senses the drama
of its age.
Passed hand to hand we share its journal.

All treasures are jewels.
They rightfully belong to a crown jewel
who Papa looks at with sacred affection.
The brilliance of life doesn’t tarnish.
It begins pristine.
Leaves a dialogue day by day,
preserving forever
what is, and is not,
Jackie and me among its images.

Published inIndex of all Poems