Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Past Voices no. 3 - coin

Trade is my game.
Useless in character - you cannot eat me, wear me or use me as a tool, except for exchange.
I have two faces on an eternal circle.
I am stamped with the image of Emperor and Empress, god and goddess, animal and crop.
I am common copper, moon-like silver, immortal gold.
I have been between finger and thumb, from owner to owner, bitten and tested, but I am what I am and you can ask for anything in exchange - almost.
What will I buy?
Wine to drink, brought from across the sea, sealed in majestic amphora.
Fish-paste, to add enough interest to the blandest meal.
Hunting dogs, killers all.
Slaves from the market to clean and cook and to beat.
Finally I am sacrificed, thrown into a world of water, an appeasement.
Or buried, returning to earth to await a retrieval that never arrives.
Or so I think.
Metal cuts through soil - a blinding light and once more I am between finger and thumb, cleaned, bagged and labelled.
People come and see me to pay homage.

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