The Parable of the Coins

It is as if an old woman in the train station
should look around and smiling slightly
reach into her bag and pull out
a kerchief tied around ancient, valuable coins,
cry “Oh dear!“
and the coins slip out of the kerchief
and fall on the floor,
seemingly multiplying as they land
in a fountain of coins,
clinking and clattering and rolling,
and rolling, some quite far.
And some people ignore the scene and walk on,
and some people stop and pocket a few coins.
But some people stoop and gather coins,
fetching them from under benches and planters,
and return them to the woman,
who blesses each one of them,
smiling, eye to eye,
and they walk away so much richer.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
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