Melted Coinage

The Melted Coins Cover

I lay crossways on the backseat
of my father’s Volkswagen Type 3
reading “The Melted Coins”
a book I had just purchased
in North Chili New York

with a flimsy pillow beneath my back
and a lonely feeling
from this being
our first family vacation without
either my brother or my sister
who had grown up
and moved out

and I noted that
the original “Melted Coins”
had been about pirates
and tattoo parlors
and this ‘updated’ one
was about the theft of tribal mask
from a Native American tribe
and I thought my brother
would find that very funny

but he wasn’t there

the book was new and smelled like a new book
and I remember the smell of my father’s car

driving through Pennsylvania countryside

headed back home

The Forgotten Door


I stopped my car halfway between
Atlanta and my destination
At a parking lot shared by a gas station and restaurant
To refuel both my vehicle and myself
The day was very bright and warm

The restaurant was very dim and cool
And as I entered, I saw red plush carpet and red walls
Red candles on every table and
A Gold shield behind the cash register in the front
There was a short buffet table in the back

It smelled like 1968
And the strangest feeling came over me
As though I had walked into a travel stop restaurant
45 years ago

I expected to see my mom and dad with their three little kids
My parents young again
And us kids either laughing or fighting
Or both

In a place I had no memory of ever being
Until that exact moment
When I suddenly remembered everything

And I remembered also
That every day at work
I walk past doors I’ve never opened

Maybe our memories and our minds
Have a lot of these doors
If we only knew
How to open them