The Cashpoint

The Cashpoint

Transactions common passing strange.
Such buttons pressed may yield so much.
Coterminal a gift exchange.
Reciprocal presents as such.

Such buttons pressed may yield so much,
ending in evenings overdrawn.
Reciprocal presents as such.
The number’s up before the dawn,

ending in evenings overdrawn
coterminal, a gift exchange.
The number’s up before the dawn:
transactions common passing strange.

Note: Another modern metaphysical poem like ‘Conjunction’, and one that appears to be about ATMs but isn’t. The clues are all there: the numbers, buttons, transactions. The point is that exchanges which may appear reciprocal or ‘coterminal’ (that is, both parties have the same ends in sight; a pun on the cashpoint terminal is also present) are anything but, just as a cashpoint dispenses money but gets its buttons pushed in return. The pantoum form (a charmingly strict fifteenth-century invention) echoes the circular and repetitive nature of such exchanges.

This poem © Oliver Tearle 2021

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