Lucky Coins

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Lucky Coins


It would have been about nineteen seventy-seven

Outside The College pub at ‘Closing Time’

When I nearly stumbled over an old man

Lying by a slate stone wall.


He was dressed in dark clothes and had grey hair

That lay across his face

So that his features were obscured

And he was trying to pull himself up to his feet


I stepped towards him and helped him rise

He mumbled incoherently at first

And then his words became more distinct

He was thanking me for my assistance


He put his hand into his pocket and pulled something out

Offering it to me conspiratorially

So I held out my hand and he placed into my palm

Two one shilling pieces


‘Keep these son – they’ll bring you luck’, he said

And despite my protestations

He insisted that I keep them

And so I did.


One of them bore the head of Elizabeth

And the other that of her father

Nineteen fifty-seven and thirty-one respectively

They were a dull silver in colour


I’m not a superstitious man

But something in the way he’d spoken

Made me cautious just to use them

And break the prophecy he’d made


So I looked for something to put them in

And found a small glass jar in the kitchen

That had held a small serving of preserve

From a bed and breakfast I had recently stayed at


It had a screw-on tartan lid

With the picture of a piper

And the words ‘Scott Of Scotland’

Written on in small black letters


It’s label showed red berries and green leaves

And told me, that in fact, it had held

Red currant jelly

Why I’d saved it – I can’t remember


The coins rattled in their new home

And always came to rest one upon the other

And every time I came in on a night

I shook the jar if the day had been good.


Was it lucky?

Who can say?

But I still have that little jar

It sits upon a shelf gathering dust


And like those two silver coins

I am older – but still here

And I cannot complain

How life has treated me thus far


◄ Lockdown Birthday

Independence Day ►


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Ian Whiteley

Fri 26th Jun 2020 13:56

thanks for the kind comments - a true story 😃

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Shifa Maqba

Thu 25th Jun 2020 16:27

'tis a great read!

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Graham Sherwood

Thu 25th Jun 2020 15:57

hahaha! might be a good idea to keep couple of 10p's in your pocket instead them. It's a nice story.

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Ian Whiteley

Thu 25th Jun 2020 15:44

I have no one in mind to pass them on to - and if I ever end up face down outside a pub it's unlikely I'll have them on me to do so 😉

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Graham Sherwood

Thu 25th Jun 2020 15:34

Will you ever pass them on Ian?

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