My Daughter Charity Thinketh No Evil

After Herman Melville

Glad, on
time pennies
click hard
at your teeth

everyone is throwing them

Gathered about you in a circle
on the deck
everyone is catching them
a blue flame about their heads cocked back
               over the railing

you think
in the middle
and wheat stands from which time
is made

on the upper decks’
passing of the banks

That’s not the brittle
moment above you

On shore, leaves turn
their gray
sunless sides
every which way

The riverboat
is very small

it will never get here