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‘Penny wise, pound foolish’ and other poems

By: Madhalasa Iyer

Photo by Ayan Chanda on

penny wise, pound foolish

A penny somersaults,
crash-dives over its head,
and lands flat on my palm.

Heads: remember.
Tails: forget.

Lincoln stares at me.
Four days and Four years ago.
the penny decides my fate,
and my palm secures it.


penny saved penny earned

I threw my last penny in the wishing well,
grief sinking faster
than a coin through water.

I wish I could have him back,
I wish I had saved him,
I wish.

but death snatches all of us,
our broken well-wishes,
as our pennies turn to rust.


penny for my thoughts
I have one cent in my thoughts.
One scent in my thoughts.
I would give every single penny,
to drown in the bergamots
and be sprinkled with cinnamon.
one scent in my thoughts.
one cent for my thoughts.


a penny to my name
a legacy dangles behind me,
like string unspun from cloth,
unwoven from neglect and despair.
this is what my ancestors left me.
pennies in the form of cloth.
regret in the form of riches


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