On a pale, sandy tabletop,
Rest little discs of metal
Gleaming ever so mildly.
The flare of my lamp
Glints harshly off an edge
As I sweep them close together,
And one falls off the ledge.
A long-forgotten countenance
Peering up from my carpet
Gives me just a moment's pause.
Again upon the table it is set.
Into piles by their form
Go those plates of copper and steel,
At the end towering
Like fingers stretching to feel.
The sum at which I arrive
Away the circles are swept
In a motion utterly efficient.
But for a scant few
I pass over with my stroke;
They must come with me
And may end tomorrow with other folk.
For now as I walk they softly sing
Though others hear only a cling.