by Louis Daniel Brodsky
Pennies and Moons
Ten-year-old Troika the Boy exemplifies clairvoyance.
His visionary divination
Connects earth and sky, with Biblical wisdom.
I’ve accompanied him, some days,
When he's detected no fewer than five lucky pennies
Nesting in arrested gestures,
Just waiting to be spotted, awakened,
Taken, like the precious Elgin marbles,
Given appreciated viewing, in new contexts.
Whether his eyes are professional archaeologists,
Trained to find loot in alleys, on sidewalks,
In return-coin slots of public telephones
And soft-drink dispensers,
Retrieve them from time's crypts,
Or are beachcombers stumbling, by dumb luck,
On not-so-buried treasure, I can't say with certainty.
However, I have registered, unequivocally,
A recurring pattern to his discoveries:
On days when he seems to uncover lost money,
He fails to glimpse the faded moon
Careening, across the sky, like a rolling coin,
Or catch sight of its appearance at night, before I do.
Conversely, when he's penniless,
I'm never first at charting its position amidst lesser orbs.
Curious, I've remarked,
How similar heavenly bodies and earthly change are,
To the boy whose eyes flicker and glisten
Like newly minted pennies and scintillant moons.
In this fifth and concluding volume of The Seasons of Youth, Louis Daniel Brodsky celebrates his girl's and boy's passage into teenage years, his daughter progressing from age eleven to sixteen and his son from seven to thirteen. Both parents relive their own youths, as their children experience the joys, adventures, and challenges of this formative time. Their son goes to summer camp — his first trip away from home — and joins a soccer team and the Cub Scouts. Their daughter begins taking interest in cultural events, by going to weekly dance classes and by occasionally attending the symphony, with her father. During this time, both son and daughter encounter the gravity of death, when they lose pets and, much more powerfully, their mother's brother, their beloved "Uncle Duck." Contrasting with their parents' comforting presence during these milestones is the subtly evolving prospect of divorce. All of these elements unfold before the children, as they eye widening horizons that beckon them to journey toward the adult world, where they'll soon take their places.
This book is available in Kindle, Nook, Sony, Kobo, and Apple E-book formats, for purchase, and through public libraries' Overdrive account, for loan.