Read introduction

British pennies used to be enormous. I remember them as a small child, and of course getting one was exciting - to look at, to spend - you could buy things with one. But now I think I know money for what it really is.

Pennies

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse24 Oct 2013

The shape and size
Of the toffees
That came in gold paper,

One would be pressed
Big and old
Into my sweaty paw.

They were a weight;
Some would still
Carry a king’s head.

Now I count out
The small ones,
Most the same dull brown;

Only a few gleam
Bright new copper,
Pushed by my finger

Into my open palm.
At the end
My hands need washing.