Idan Warsawski

A Copper Identity

The man who lies on its face was one of the greatest presidents that ever came into office
Now he finds himself embossed on our lowest denomination.

Once a great man who abolished slavery
now put on a coin where liberty is found behind him
while the years crawl in front of him
as his hard copper face tries to resist the corrosion of the passing ages.

He is trapped inside a coin
once used to buy orange salt water taffy at the corner store
long phased out by their big corporate counterpart.
Now, the material he is stamped on finds its way onto the cold, dirty pavement of a street.

He’s stuck inside your pocket,
the only one radical enough to face to the right.
With a blank expression on his face, he stares enviously,
straight into the eyes of his fellow leaders
being showcased in their redesigned glory.

He now finds his way into tip jars at the local diner
not out of appreciation for what he has done
but so he doesn’t mix in with your car keys.

At one time he was abolishing slavery,
now he is faced with a challenge he can’t speak up to.

The abolishment of his copper identity in the sea of his silver cousins.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.