Pennies

Her words are pennies

plummeting from a skyscraper

embedding deeply into the pavement

of my mind.

 

Worthless

Pathetic.

Repulsive.

Disappointment.

Failure.

 

They are words.

Simple smudges

formed only

to give purpose

to a blank page.

 

Yet,

coming from her,

they’re pennies.

 

One or two mean nothing.

 

Though what happens when you toss

one or two

in a jar consistently?

 

Incompetent

 

6 cents

 

Weak

 

31 cents

 

Faulty

 

$1.22

 

 

She flicks in pennies as if saving for tuition,

but a jar can hold such meager pieces,

both in value and size.

 

They are pennies,

nothing more than a cent.

 

And yet they are.

 

They are more than a cent,

coming from her.

 

From her they are diamonds,

easily depleting the capacity of the jar.

 

Easily shattering the jar itself.

Easily shattering the mind itself.

Easily shattering myself.

 

For her words are plentiful pennies,

harboring the value of diamonds.

 

For her words are mine.

 Olivia Housley

Originally appeared in the 2013-2014 edition of Outside In