A penny’s worth of poetry

On Monday, the Royal Canadian Mint stopped producing pennies. Canadian retailers will henceforth round up or down to the nearest five cents in order to wean consumers off their use. While 30 billion pennies will stay in circulation for years to come, the end of production Monday inspired hand-wringing and penny-punning headlines across the land.

But despite all the editorials and columns, there has to date been no truly terrible poetry written about the demise of the penny. Today, we correct that oversight with my poem, “Copper? Barely Knew Her.” You’re welcome, Canada.

O Canada,
Land of imprecision,
Home of the guesstimate,
Country of far oceans
And close enough,
Well-rounded
At rounding up
Or is it down?
Will we come out ahead?
Or will it be a tails?
No way to know,
You penniless people
Of two basic types,
Both the wishy
And the washy,
For there are no coppers
In the coffers

Every trip to the store
An adventure
A lottery
A jackpot or loss
Of up to 2 cents
Either way

That Tim Horton’s run
Just got exciting!
That medium coffee
$1.72
Rounded down
$1.70!
Seven more trips:
A free Timbit, my friend!

Yum? No, Canadi-yum!

Yum? No, Canadi-yum!

But, alas, at what price?
(Not $1.62
I can tell you)
To be deprived
The firmness
Of economics
The solidity
Of math
The security
Of knowing
The “give-one-
Take-one” penny dish
Was always there
(Though we were
More fond
Of the “take”
Than the “give”)

About
Almost
Nearly
These are our defining qualities now
How much is that muffin?
About $1.95
What’s the temperature?
Almost 20 degrees
Are we there yet?
Nearly
Are you sure?
Mostly

O Canada
Our home and native land
Acceptable patriot fondness
In all thy sons request

Where will we go
To purchase our bargains?
In Canada, linguine’s $2.00 a bag
In the U.S. it’s $1.99
Pack the car!
Road Trip!
Are we there yet?
Yes!

With heavy hearts
And lighter pockets
We say farewell to thee,
Penny
From sea to sea
A sharing of grief
Except in Toronto
Where they’re used to
The loss
Of Maple Leafs

In Quebec alone,
That enclave of rancour,
Is there rejoicing it seems,
One less reminder
Of a life repressed
“Sou” the imperialist queen

All agree
That something is lost
And not just the opportunity
To say “Penny for your thoughts”
Because most thoughts have
Long been worth
A buck-fifty-five,
What with inflation

I think that I shall never see
Another shiny copper penny
Or a darling child with that name either
Going to look silly naming your daughter
“Nickel”

O Canada
First the plastic dollar bills
And now no pennies?
We’ve essentially become
A board game

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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11 Responses to A penny’s worth of poetry

  1. Amanda Fox says:

    We have definitely entered a new era. I tried to rip one of those new twenties because my son said you couldn’t. And he was right, you can’t. Very correct poem. It describes us Canadians perfectly. 🙂

  2. Curly Carly says:

    Well done! How long did that take you?

    I can’t believe any coins are still made now that most people use cards for everything.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Carly, writing terrible poetry takes surprisingly little time. It’s all about using awkward, stilted phrasing and, if that’s not enough
      random
      line breaks.

      Glad you liked it!

  3. Kylie says:

    I have it on good authority that the Tooth Fairy likes to dispense Canadian pennies (a penny for your teeth) in my region… send ’em my way!

  4. I’m waiting for penny-less imprecision to hit the US currency world. I’m sure the banking and finance industry will be dismayed when the commoners begin to horn in on their methods.

  5. The Hook says:

    The balance has been restored.
    Well done.

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