Medallion

Before I left
the house each day,
my mother pinned

a disc of beaten
metal above my heart,
beneath my shirt

of pressed cotton;
on it, a modest
constellation

ringed a shape
and form— a woman
veiled and robed,

her features rubbed
beyond recognition
by time and fingers

fervent with
supplication.
Sometimes I held

its wafer edge
between my teeth,
considering:

why not rose,
why not honey?
This little

copper moon,
its iron and
protective tang.

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