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A Bargain


I know the story of a rich man, cured

of wounds, or plague, or pox, or leprosy—

whatever—sick or dying, anyway,

who'd made a vow:  If the Almighty heard

his prayer and made him whole again, then he

would build a great cathedral to display

his gratitude in lofty gothic stone.

That's how it is with me.  I make my own

bargains with God (of course it's understood

by God I mean myself).  "God," I might vow,

"just let the biopsy be negative—

I'll mend my ways; be kind, unselfish, good."

Compare my pledge to his, that even now

lifts its spire:  Cheaper, what I'd give—

a good deal, for a thing like death deferred.

But how long do you think I keep my word?


Deborah Warren



(c) 2000; originally printed in Pivot.  Reprinted by
permission of the author.


Background by
My Treasured Collection

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