Some they wear their hearts pinned to soft
sleeves for all to see and break. But not me.
I keep my heart in my pant’s front pocket
a’jingling in there among the copper coins.
I made this decision early, early in the spring
of my life as I lay wrapped in a patchwork quilt
my grandmother stitched with anxious hands.
From the turntable Judy Collins sang Suzanne
and I feared I might die such was the bloom
of words and music and being fifteen and alive.
That afternoon I vowed my affections only
to such half-crazies with their tea and oranges.
So I pocketed my heart and kept close to the river.
Here now in the early, early autumn of my life
my heart is almost indistinguishable from the
worthless change I carry along with my name.
Silver and gold have I none, never have. But such
as I have I give – my coppered heart a’jingling
token of my travels along the banks of love, of
words and music and being fifty-one and alive.