She counted not

silver in the palm

of her hand; neither gold.

But copper now

her skin, stained

fingertips from the scrounge

for pennies; a tuppence.

The hat, it held a mountain

within – but precious metal

ever lacked.  She sighed,

then coughed: the sound 

it hacked, echoing

in her empty room full

of draughts. 

If she wasn’t so pitiful,

she’d laugh.