Poetry Month – April 22, 2024 – On the Altar

STRANGE CURRENCY

Homes for
Crabs
Snails
Oysters
And mussels
Are dried and empty and far
From forlorn, hurricane-tossed crustaceans looking shelters

Pesos
Gather dust
Miles from Havana
Gather no interest
Buy no bread
Or Gas
Or rum
Provide nothing for no one.

Even the memory of how they
Slipped into a pocket
A wallet
A suitcase
Is gone.
Once treasured and carried
From beach to café to plane to
Top of the bureau.
Now not needed by anyone
Or anything nearby.

It’s Earth Day and I am looking at these treasures I have taken on my travels. Yes, they may have a dim memory attached to them. Maybe a meal or a swim or a long, long walk. But now they look like food and homes and things I should have left where they lived.