My friend Tanika is around 25—
more like exactly a quarter century—
and she says she was born with a silver heart.
That ain’t nothin’ declares Elijah
who says he was born with a gold tooth.
He’s 80—more or less.
She says a gold tooth can fall out
and then what do you got?
He says then the tooth fairy
will pitch it up to shine
among fairy stars that will sparkle
from heaven and reach down to
tickle his mouth until
he can’t help but grin and be happy.
Gold teeth be forever
whether inside or out.
He flashes a smile.
Tanika says some people are born
with a silver spoon but
thieves can steal silver spoons and then
there’s nothin’ left and then you gotta
stir your coffee with your fingers.
No one can swipe my silver heart she says.
It can tarnish with bad hurtin’ air and meanness
but I just rub it
shine it until folks that fling darts
And you can reflect on that, Elijah.
He threw a smile aimed at her silver heart
and it came back brighter in its reflection.
© Bonnie Schupp