At the County Fair, 1956

A poem by Charles Darling

For a nickel, a machine

called An Expression of Faith

would take your dime

and squash it.

All tubes and gears and lights,

the thing would groan, squeak,

fart, smoke, and finally drop

a little silver oval in your hands,

hot as a pistol,

with Jesus’s face on one side

and the Lord’s Prayer on the other.

I took my medallion

home for Grandma,

but she wouldn’t keep it

because it was Catholic

and had “trespasses”

instead of “debts”

and left out the part

about the kingdom

and the power and glory.

She gave it back

and I went downtown

and set it on the railroad track.

And after the train went by

I had a piece of silver

smooth as glass and that

says something about

power and glory, by God.

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One comment

  1. Wow wow wow. Upon first read I thought you’d written this–Thanks for sharing 🙂 It’s brilliant.

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