the nickel man – a 7th grade encounter 

the nickel man – a 7th grade encounter 

a bonus of jr high school was after lunch

I walked with my 9th grade sister to a

small mom-and-pop store where patsy 

and I each bought a 5 c ice cream cone 

every noon we passed a business man  

probably on his way home to eat – how it 

began we don't recall but on seeing him 

we'd chant "we wish we had a nickel

we wish we had a nickel" he ignored us 

then one day he stopped suddenly turned  

out his pockets a cascade of nickels rained 

to the sidewalk he went on as we scrambled  

to gather the bonanza they turned out to be  

entirely slugs not a nickel amongst them

after that we passed the nickel man in silence  

all faces expressionless I wish we'd had the

guts to say we STILL wish we had a nickel

or better yet to present him with one of ours 

2022 Jacqueline Jackson

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