Pennywise & Dirt Poor by Moni Brar

Poem title: Pennywise & Dirt Poor Poet name: Moni Brar Poem begins: her five fingers  clasp my one my skinny legs  have superpowers  in this new red snowsuit from the thrift store  the swish-swish  drowns out crunchy snow  underfoot 	 we scour the sidewalk for pennies our too-big shoes poke the curbside muck we look for a glimmer  of copper  when found each one a treasure  I rub them  with frozen fingers  marvel at the woman 	so pretty with a crown  	so pretty  I know she represents  something important  I don’t know of her cruelty 	yet I don’t hate her  	yet  we walk on lean into cold wind still a stranger to us  my five-year old body  already full of wounds braces for more. End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Moni Brar Originally published in Blank Spaces Canadian Literary Arts Magazine, September 2020, p. 10. Born in rural India, Moni Brar now gratefully divides her time between the unsurrendered territories of the Treaty 7 Region and the Syilx Okanagan Nation. Her writing explores the connections of time, place and identity in the immigrant experience, diasporic guilt, religious violence, and the legacy of trauma resulting from colonization. She is inspired by writers who take an oppositional stance and work towards decolonizing western frameworks of culture and identity. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and she is the runner-up in PRISM international’s 2021 Grouse Grind Prize, shortlisted for Arc’s 2021 Poem of the Year, and a finalist in the 2021 Alberta Magazine Awards. Her writing can be found in The Literary Review of Canada, Prairie Fire, Passages North, CV2, Vallum, and Hobart, among others.