What’s it Worth?

Hawaii was not yet a state when ten cents bought:

A spit and shine to infantry double buckle combat boots

by scrawny Filipino plantation boys;

Two Hershey chocolate bars shared six ways;

A trade school education paid for with the minted alloys

of silver and copper amassed over the years,

swelling a single sock that hung

in a meager closet corner.

On black asphalt

a sliver of silver flashes

on a twenty-first century late afternoon.

“You want a dime?” My companion asks.

“Sure! Pick it up.”

A solar flare of self-indignation.

“You want it, you pick it up!”

Talk story

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