Monday, July 6, 2009


sure knew how
to pinch a penny
she lived on Manhattans
and discounted groceries
which she’d find
at the local John G’s
where the cans were dented
or past their date
she reused the same wrapping paper
to wrap the same presents
that each Christmas
we would politely refuse
and then be given again
the following year
she never made outgoing phone calls
instead waiting for days
weeks or months or years even
for the person with whom
she wanted to speak
to spend the dime and call her
leftovers never went uneaten
lights were never on for naught
and even on the hottest summer days
down in Palm Beach
the air conditioner would remain silent
but one of the things
that amazed me the most
was that she could make use
of a single sponge
for years and years at a time
every night
the dishes were hand washed
and every night
the sponge would be worn down
just a little more
until a time
when it was only the size of her thumb
a ratty, shriveled thing
which I would throw out one night
only to live the next three days
scowled at
written off
and absolutely loathed
for being a wasteful youth
ah, my dear, old penny pinching Nana
bless her heart

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