My business is the train, and I time its rails
each night. The cargo came on the quarter,
and the passenger arrives at nine, rides
over the line of eleven pennies I tape
to the rail. I make the train make me jewelry.
And I am an expert now, this is my superior
product, which, contrary to what you say,
is neither shoddy nor shit. Here, look at this,
Father, on one side of my coin, the outline
of another father—one who will support me
as I support myself. And with one penny see
what I create: this charm for fifteen dollars,
a stamped pendant for ten, and in blank copper
I can beat any name. After labor with aluminum
hammers and stamps, each special penny returns
the affection I invest. This is my craft, dear Father,
my investment. And here is the story I tell as I sell
my pennies: when the train approaches, the coins
would throw themselves far away from the rail.
But the tape preserves their posture, keeps each
penny face-down on the track when the train rides
unaware across its back. Violent, I know, even so
the ends justify the means. After a pearl, the oyster
holds no grudge against a grain of sand. Can you see
the blank coin in my hand? Now see what I see--
this opportunity, beauty. Father, you are the train, you
press away your likeness from the coin of my soul.
And I am a bright, blank, glistening thing.
Ruth Towne is a young woman finding her place in early twenty-first century America. She is a Millennial Poet, and her poetry reflects her views on life, death, romance, memory, the woman’s body, matters of belief and unbelief, and eternity, among other themes. She is an emerging writer living and working in New England. When she is not writing, she spends as much time as she can outdoors—cycling, running, hiking, camping, and hammocking. In typical Millennial style, she strives to be an expert on anything she can, from what Drake and Taylor Swift are doing in their spare time to how a poet strives for timelessness in her work by first assaying the value of the time she has received to write. Of course, she has a typewriter and drinks coffee whenever she can, and of course she has opinions on how to improve the environment by carpooling and using metal straws. And of course, she doesn’t want to be pinned down in one biography statement, either. She completed her undergraduate education at Cedarville University and attended the University of Maine’s Stonecoast MFA.