fool’s gold

when i was a child i found a rock
that shone with flecks of gold

excited (and thinking it was real)
i ran to show it to my father

who gently explained (in the way
that fathers do) that it was not.

he told me the name of my pretty,
sparkly nugget and i was sorry.

worthless, he said, trying to explain
the difference between pyrite

and the gold that circled his finger,
and together we imagined the

disappointment of miners who surely
must have thought they struck it rich.

yesterday, i walked through a garden
that was not mine and stopped in the sun

to chat with a friend and (listening) i looked
down to discover chunks of my childhood

sparkling up at me and i smiled as i stooped
to pick up three pieces to give to her girls.

i told her the name and the story, and then
placed one last piece in my own pocket,

because these days, i am happy to believe
that there is far more value in this stone

that glitters just enough to remind me
of a long ago moment with my father

than there is in any amount
of the real thing.




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