Pen and Ink

For this poem, I honestly don’t remember what the prompt had been at the time, but the goal was to have each stanza end on the same word, even if the meaning was different. This poem was designed to illuminate how pocket change, a seemingly unimportant thing, can mean the world to some people. 

Pocket Change

They said I was as useful as pocket change.
They said it like a joke, but its sting did not change.

The frail man lying in the street called to me,
his faded sign begging for spare tourist change.
I doubt it could ever make his circumstances change.

The banks refuse to give stores rolls of coins. 
My local bookstore savors a customer’s exact change, 
though customers rarely have it – who worries about loose change? 

My roommate asked for some quarters for her laundry, 
since she had used up the contents of her “College” change 
jar on carrot-flavored baby food – her goals now forced to change.

The man refused to tip the disheveled barista,
like a Smaug without scales he hoarded - though quietly his wife left change.
But at the end of the night, the tip jar still only held her pocket change.