A 20c coin is nothing,
it helps nobody.
But it’s rounded like my eye, its face
fervid and hot from the touch
of our world and I envy it.
The coin that knows more about
humans than I do,
the coin that knows about
loyalty, love, greed, hatred, faith,
The coin that has seen the flaws
and beauty of your life, my life
and look – 1994 –
it’s even older than me as well.
Suppose it’s not the coin that’s precious but
the people that have touched it, those
wonderful, destructive fingers, our world,
my imagination.

This poem was highly commended for Poetry Object 2015

Judge's Notes:
"This poem feels immediate, like someone thinking aloud. The thought is supple and surprising: this poem moves easily between startling images, arguments, feelings, lists and details. From its first ‘But…’, this poem keeps changing direction, questioning itself, noticing more. Even the line breaks work with this same suppleness, building in pauses and sudden leaps, rhythms of thought. Rather than recording a conclusion that someone has reached, this poem records the experience of something thinking. This makes the poem intimate and alive. However many times we read it, the poem seems each time to be happening now, in the instant of our reading. ‘And look,’ the poet writes, with such easy directness we feel as though we are there, inside the experience, able to see the date on the coin. This poem is remarkable for the dramatic quality of its thought, and for a combination of suppleness and precision, which makes it come alive for the reader. This is a poet to watch."
~Lisa Gorton, Poetry Object Judge 2015