brown  nickel  1944
a poem by  
  keith  o'connor
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During the second world war Canada produced brown coloured nickels in the years 1942 - 43. This event with my grandfather takes place in   1944. On the surface it appears that I am being manipulative but it illustrates the idea that inside my grandfather was his memory of being a four year old and that his memory was linking up with me when I was a four year old, such that I became a part of him and he became a part of me. A form of empathy was being developed between us. 
brown  nickel  1944 

can you give me a nickel 
he was tall like a tree 
my grandpa 
I looked way up 
he looked way down 
at little four year old me 
he smiled that smile 
that only grandpas smile 
reached in his pocket 
his money pocket 
that tinkled with coins 
pulled out his fist 
and opened it wide 
to a treasure I couldn't see 
he picked out a coin 
and handed it down 
down into my little 
four year old hand 
it's a penny I said 
as I looked way up 
 giving him my best 
best impish smile 
it's not shiny 
I'll give you a shiny 
if you give back the brown 
I thought for a moment 
I know it's a brown nickle 
we little kids know things like that 
and I wanted them both 
It's only a penny 
can I have it too 
I'll have only six cents 
when I add up the two 
a smile crossed his face 
he knew my childish trickery 
and smiled that knowing smile 
that way down 
in his childhood memory 
he was me 
and handed down 
his shiny 


Keith  O'Connor 
Ottawa  Canada 
aug   7   2001 

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