A Pipe Dream
At the Nauagtuck Valley Mall
When it was still standing,
We used to ask our mother for pennies.
She’d rummage through the depths of her purse,
Brown, leathery bulk, and pull out her wallet.
It matched the leather and she twisted the golden clasp open.
She’d dig for copper, surpassing all silver.
We each got one penny, one wish.
Brick trapped the water
Black iron bars were a fence,
The brick jutted out farther than the bars
And my sister would stand on the edge.
Her LA lights blinking,
She extended her thin, brown hand.
Closing her eyes, she’d make a wish,
Letting the coin meet the concrete bottom of the fountain.
Pennies glittered and I wondered
Who collected all those coins.
It was my turn.
I drove my wheelchair
As close as I could
And gave the coin away
To my sister.
I made my wish, keeping my eyes open
Watching between the bars as the penny descended.
I wished I could stand
On the edge and throw it in
But that wish never came true.