Money

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In this season of advertised merriment with its vision of happy times supported by a hefty bout of shopping, posting the last of the four poems in my list of universal experiences that hold too much silence — sex, death, drugs, money — seems very appropriate.

Here I’m recounting the responses to what counts as wealth in the larger world and my own reckoning of true wealth, having experienced a deep and encompassing love.

On this gray morning polished by slow snow, as we travel towards the turn of the sun, the winter solstice only hours away, may you find your own sources of wealth to celebrate.

Money

I sit on the window ledge of the restaurant
and talk to the woman beside me, her head
wrapped in a bandana, she lives on the streets,
she had a brain aneurysm, her family is lost
along the west coast, no chemicals,
it keeps her safe, she didn’t repeat herself
for a long time. Two men in a row tell me
it’s not my luck but my heart that makes me
put large bills in their cups, the blessing
I carry with me. You ate pears whole,
ignoring the core, to you all fruit.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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