NINE SURPRISING THINGS WORTH MORE THAN THIS SHIMMERING METAL
1) there was a saffron finch outside my window, though I thought there were none left here anymore, and it was old, and its voice hoarse as if it caught a cold, and I felt we had a mutual understanding.
2) the birthday cake I made had little real vanilla, I suppose, but it was sweet, too sweet in my opinion, and my toddler gleefully ate it without throwing it onto the floor.
3) the printer was advertised as unbreakable, but i stand in contradiction, because I fell, and it slid off the table in slow motion but still too fast for me to stop it, and ink dripped onto the tile, which is why I chose tile, not carpet.
4) the air was blistering as if personally offended, but the clouds collapsed and water cascaded down ferociously, as if it too was offended. I was not.
5) my daughter found a lump of quartz in the backyard, and I am sure she thinks it worth more than any precious metal, because it is pale rose and can be easily tucked away in the fold of her small hand.
6) the mangoes have ripened, which I know because my dogs were vaulting into the air to catch their sweet-fleshed prey, and their faces are strewn with golden juice.
7) i grabbed my normal pastry from the hole-in-the-wall bakery down the street and they gave me two because they had too many and they were going to go stale.
8) the hospital a block away smells like antiseptic and has only stainless steel in the way of metal, but on night shift I saw two patients sit up and talk to each other who before had only glared at the ceiling as if its ivory whitewash was keeping secrets from them.
9) there was a road accident this morning, five miles away, and everyone was fine but a twisted bumper and a broken silver necklace, but somehow nobody cared about the necklace anymore.
—from Poets Respond
Hannah Norman: “In reaction to BBC article about nine things more valuable than silver.”