Millicent Borges Accardi
Woman on a Shaky Bridge
 
 
You start with a thousand
Pennies.  Each night you count
Together as a couple,
Taking notes and making
Lists. Nearly imperceptibly,
There are 999. You don’t want
To seem ungrateful or narrow-minded,
So you let the count go.
 
Waiting long hours of weeks
For it to happen again, 998.
The count changes.
Years go by and the number holds,
Diminished only slightly by increments.
 
Three lifetimes limp
Along on a muddy street and
One day, there are 900.
 
You deliver the message
Steadfastly, convinced there’s a problem,
Honoring her position.
 
But without enough evidence you’d
Lose in any draw down.  You sit out
Centuries without a dance, milleniums
Of tangos and waltzes glance by
As tedious as a wooden suspension
Bridge.
 
Until one day there aren’t any
Pennies at all. A-ha, you say,
Already having been trained to make do
with less.  A-ha, you decide to point it out.
 
There used to be a thousand pennies
In this glass jar, our nest egg, our heart beat.
 
And she turns on a dime, dead pan,
As if all men are crazy.
 
So, you look away. This is too credible
A line. Not one part of me is impossible.
All of me is in this.