Silver, “Periodic Table of Poetry” poem by Chicago poet Janet Kuypers

Silver

Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series (#47, Ag)

Got a huge batch of silver bars,
but didn’t want to sell them
because at the time the value of Silver
temporarily dropped.
But the thing is, with all that Silver,
I would have had to pay
people to store it,
costing me even more money.
So I buried it,
and waited for the value of Silver
to rise again
before I cashed my Silver in.

#

I never got the Silverware
from my grandparents,
I was too young
and they lived too long,
but I got the silverware case
from my brothers house
when he moved out
of his last hone.

#

My engagement ring
was originally the wedding ring
of my husband’s great-grandmother.
But that engagement ring
(with a diamond in a white gold setting)
later became a pendant,
and after the fragile
white gold chain broke
(because even though it’s heavy,
it’s expensive, so it was thin),
we replaced it with a Silver chain,
thicker, and therefore stronger,
and worked perfectly
to showcase that diamond
around my neck for years.

#

Silver, mixed with other metals,
can make amalgams, for people
like me with too many
cavities to count. Silver may be
a worthwhile metal element,
but I was relieved
when the dentist
fixed those fillings
with an amalgam matching
the color of my teeth…

#

I worked for years for a minor
in photography in college,
aced every course
from photojournalism to
portrait to art photography.
I’d wind my own film,
coated with an emulsion
containing light-sensitive
Silver halide salts. I loved
working in that darkroom,
seeing images appear
that I captured with my
Silver-emulsion film.

#

I’ve collected Silver coins for years,
and traveling around the globe
has increased my desire
for coins from other countries.
And my mother, years ago
played the dollar slots in Vegas
(back in the day when the slot machines
paid cash directly to you,
and didn’t give you a card
you needed to cash in),
and she won tons of old Silver dollars.
For decades she kept a jar
in the cabinet in the kitchen
(labeled “Maw”)
filled with these Silver dollars.
The Silver dollars were given to me
after she passed away,
and now I have stacks of these
century-old Silver dollars
displayed with all of
my other Silver and metal coins
from around the world.
I know the 1888 Silver dollar
in that collection is so worn
that it can’t be worth much,
but trust me, for sentimental value,
it’s priceless.

Beryllium poem by Janet Kuypers

Beryllium

Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

I’ve wanted you with me.
I’ve paid for fragments of you,
spending what I could at the
Gem and Jewelry show for years,
because all I could afford of you
was aquamarine glimmers of you,
blue like the endless sky above.

In that aquamarine sky above
I’d see you in high-speed aircraft,
I’d see the Universe with your space vehicles,
even travel the information superhighway
in your communication satellites, before
you’d try to bombard me with your missiles.

I’ve needed you with me,
because I hear you make things stronger,
and I’ve needed that for so long,
for so many years. I needed that.

And when I found someone
that dated me for years, that
I thought I had a future with,
I took him with me to get your
green brilliance, wrap you around my neck,
wrap you around my finger. Frame you
in diamonds and gold, I’d do
whatever I could to get you.

Your emerald brilliance,
your aquamarine brilliance,
is what draws me to you, still.

I know it’s irrational, my desire for you,
I know that I don’t need you,
but you have been the window for me
to all of the things inside of me, and even
to everything beyond this world.
But with your colorful brilliance,
you give the world strength, you help me
see everything truly inside of me, help me
communicate with the world, even get me
beyond the confines of this world
When I lay it all out for you this way,
you have to understand
my attraction to you.
You have to understand
my desire for you.
I know, doctors say
I don’t need you,
but in a way, I do.
So I just wanted you to
understand
my seemingly
irrational need.