When soldiers returned to father the Boomers,
this house had a miniature door
for bottles to enter full and leave empty,
waiting to turn milk-opaque again.
After the rise of supermarkets, the portal changed to a window,
six milky panes slap-spackled in the brick,
intimate economies traded
for plastic jugs, sloshing bags, and Snippits.
Today, morning rays tremble where hinges once swung,
and light is the currency of nourishment.
Absence has punched through the wall,
dispensing with chiseled finesse.
But thanks to the glass, tactless bricks
do not efface the door’s memory.
Instead, as stained-glass surrenders to water,
transparency releases pools of color,
visual sighs for the lost,
and prayers for anguished strength
to roll back the boulders from tombs.
Six thick panes for discarded cradles,
rusty skate keys, and faded bowling prizes.
One shelf for the clink of empties, echoes of booming demands to grow up strong.
Milk door to window,
necessary to obsolete.
What shines can seed the deepest soil.
And what empties to nothing
holds rivers of radiant ghosts
that shimmer, swirl, and eddy in aching gold.
Although pennies are no longer in circulation in Canada, the forest economy is different. Last May I found a 1978 Canadian penny on the forest floor of Serena Gundy Park. I shifted it to a curved patch of moss for a photo and left it there.
Two months later, I followed the same trail, and to my surprise I saw a penny in almost the same spot! It was a different one though, stamped with the year 2007. It rested just beside the moss patch, possibly nudged from it by a curious animal.
Thank you, mysterious hiker, for creating an anonymous penny exchange! If I had had a penny with me, I would have extended the game. As it was, I took a picture and let the coin remain there for the next pair of wondering eyes.