Wishing Well

Wishing Well

First published in Ballard Street Poetry Journal in March 2012.


Wishing Well

Every morning, we all go to the office.

We pull up our roll-y chairs and wait.

We’re working, of course, but we’re waiting


The e-news reports increased hunger in the Horn.

Also, they’ve shot another probe deep into space.

Deep. Do we really need to know just how small

We are?

We can feel it, here in our creaky chairs. At least

I can. It’s with me like a toothache. My smallness.

My weakness. That I have to practice how to feel loved.


The last time I spent so much time waiting was for something

I’d whispered while flicking pennies I’d found on the sidewalk

Into a fountain at a park in the downtown of my childhood.


Was in the perfect ping of penny from the tip of my thumb.

In the arch of otherwise worthless copper toward a tiled

Floor. In the glint of many pennies who’d gone before.


To the bottom. Tiny round relics of wishers past – but they

Are only so small as their wish. I heard one girl at that fountain

Wish for world peace. Another for food for her family.

But me?

I wished to be at the bottom, with other things my size.

Maybe I could learn how to make a wish come true. Maybe

Just how to lie still. Or maybe, with enough waiting, how to


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