Coins The rawboned old man sits ramrod-straight ...
# forever-poetry
Coins The rawboned old man sits ramrod-straight at my table when I stumble to my nightside kitchen unsure of what I want or need. His craggy beard is like a nest for rats, and his obdurate eyes bind me. He grips an ancient oar, and speaks: “The price is one coin, be it a silver dollar or centavo. I care not—but the price must be paid. Why deny me?” I start to speak, protesting that I am not dead or dying. He interrupts. We are suddenly elsewhere and elsewhen, below the Earth where the deep rivers flow. I have no coins and join my mother in her banishment, walking the banks of the Styx. We say as little to one another as we ever did in life. My tears come to nothing, falling like silver flashes to the unhallowed earth while my mother’s eyes gaze forward— glinting coins in the palpable dark.