Lynn Levin is the author of six books; most recently, Miss Plastique (Ragged Sky), a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in poetry; as co-author Poems for the Writing: Prompts for Poets (Texture), a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist in education/academic books; and a translation from the Spanish, Birds on the Kiswar Tree (2Leaf) by Peruvian poet Odi Gonzales. Levin is the recipient of two grants from the Leeway Foundation and twelve Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work appears in The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, Ploughshares, Boulevard, Michigan Quarterly Review, Rattle, The Hopkins Review, and Verse Daily. Garrison Keillor has read her work on The Writer’s Almanac. She teaches at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. Her website is www.lynnlevinpoet.com.
Spending Small Change
I praise the spenders of small change
for they give the humblest their due.
They hold themselves not above pennies
but love thrift and exactitude.
On their bureaus one finds no
Abes, Toms, Georges, or FDRs
sequestered in jars, calling out:
Are we not worthy? Do we not amount to much?
And when at the checkout those spenders
place coins in the palm of a clerk
hands might touch
the human gain purchase.
On Knowing One’s Goblet at the Banquet Table
Glum the lady to your left
whose goblet you grab
at the company banquet.
When she summons the waiter
for another water glass,
you grin like an ass
and tell her how much you
hate the pettiness of etiquette.
Now she is as chilly to you
as the shrimp cocktail.
Mister, if eat left, drink right is
such a small thing, why not
learn the small thing?
It’s not like this is about forks.
No one can solve the cipher of forks.