Harvey’s Coin


“Harvey’s Coin” by Sharon Rauenzahn

Round, heavy, cold in my hand
One Rhodesian shilling
Smooth in my hand, cold
The classroom bustles around me
Harvey’s coin collection
Brought to school for show and tell
Spilled across the floor
Six kids around sets of three tables
Harvey sat at the end of our set
The coins spilled under our table
I don’t know why I took it
Held it, kept it, pretended not to know
When the teacher offered amnesty
I was terrified, guilty, full of shame
I hid the coin, in a pocket, in a drawer
Tried to forget, and often did
Now and again I still find it
In a box in the garage
Because I still keep it
Because what else can I do?
Facebook has far too many
Harvey Shapiros
If I’m remembering right
If it was his collection after all
And not the tall, blond boy
Whose name I can’t recall
Thinking it over, it might have been
But in my mind, it’s always
Harvey Shapiro
Hot-headed, stubborn, fast-talking
That way he leaned in when he argued
Elbows bent, hands pointed forward
Brilliant, handsome
I’m not sure he ever noticed me
I’m not sure I ever knew
Why I watched him
Why I stole his coin
Round and heavy
Cold in my hand

November, 2016


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