16 Cents

I went out today
without any money
not even a dime
except in my
glove compartment
where I found 16 cents.
No gloves,
just a map, a pencil
and 16 cents.
I drove to the park
and walked around for free.
I saw a guy eat a whole
lemon meringue pie by himself.
I watched women doing tai chi
and little kids throwing
sand at each other.
I said to myself,
“It’s a free country.”
I had no green stuff
because I ran out of it.
Things you can run out of
are different from things
that go on forever.
You can run out of pie
but you can’t run out of stars.
You can run out of patience
but you can’t run out of hope.
Well, you can say,
“I don’t have anymore hope,”
but if you look for it
you can always find a little
hanging around somewhere.
A map has hope.
So does a pencil.
And 16 cents?
Hide it in the sand,
and see.

— Jack Cooper, from Across My Silence

All poems, art, and photos are public domain, creative commons, or used by permission of author or publisher, World Audience, Copyright 2007. Used by permission of the author, Jack Cooper. Photo by Mike Beales, via Flickr.
Artist Debbie Young

Art by Harold Sikkema

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