Find a Penny

ByKevin Kuzma

Find a Penny

Older woman in front of me in the checkout line at the grocery. She’s going through her wallet and drops a penny on the floor. In all the commotion of the store, she doesn’t hear it. I think about picking it up and handing it to her, but it’s just a penny. She collects her bags and walks out of the store. I decide to go ahead and pick up the penny, and if I see her in the parking lot, give it to her. I walk out and I see her loading her van, parked next to my car. By the time I reach her, she’s in the driver’s seat about to start her vehicle. “It’s only a penny,” I think, and I keep walking past. I open my car door, turn and see her, and I decide to knock on her passenger window, which is a risk in our society … where everyone we don’t know is perceived as a danger. But I knock anyway and hold the penny where she can see it. She looks up, smiles and climbs out of her van. I walk around and see this older woman in her jogging suit, a Christian cross draped proudly around her neck. She says, “Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.” I smile and give her a hug without asking. “Aren’t you sweet?” she says. “You keep it.” So I have the penny. I’ve driven around with it in my console for a few weeks. I just looked down, saw it gleaming in the dull winter sunlight, and felt a sense of warmth. The greatest gifts in this world cost you nothing. The ones that cost a penny are also a bargain.

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