Coins in the Fontana Di Trevi (poem)

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source: pixabay, public domain

Coins in the Fontana Di Trevi

 

When I was 19
at the Fontana Di Trevi
I tossed in three coins
with the right hand
over the left shoulder

I lost track of where they landed
among hundreds of copper and silver bits
splattered like a random mosaic
on the fountain’s floor

I dropped them in and walked away
through the long, narrow piazza
past the hungry pigeons
walked to the rest of the day, the rest of Italy
and into the rest of my life

If the bits were underwater, drowning
they’d still catch fire, blaze,
transform, materialize
in a far-off future
(or so it goes with magic and wishes)

But now
I want to know the true cost of wishes

I think I’d need to collect a bag of gold and toss it all in
for friendship, love, happiness

Would it cost extra
for a certain pair of eyes
because tears and time
are too high of a price to pay

I’d drop in as many shiny, crisp coins needed
to end poverty, hunger,
cancer, disease

Tell me the cost
to end refugees’ wandering
and to build the homeless a home

What is the price to pay,
Fontana Di Trevi,
to end racial divides
and for men to respect women
as fellow creatures of dignity

I’ve been saving coins and wishes
ever since the day
I heard it on the news
since I saw the fleeing
since I saw the weeping

And I’ve been saving
for my own lonely heart

When 19
you think three coins is enough

At 19
it’s all you’ve got

But when you’re older
you’d gather all the gold of this world
and dump it in the fountain
if that’s all it took
to make wishes come true

*

© prasanta
December 2017

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