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A Divine Bargain by Neetu Malik

 

I see you will haggle over your wares
sell them to me for the price I ask
I know you have many gods
little and large, in stock

so I make my offer
you are outraged
how dare I belittle the deity 
I hold in my outstretched hand
so precious I should fall at its feet
not negotiate over its head–
hush, you say, such sacrilege you
cannot tolerate
I must be reasonable, not violate
your sacred space

I stand firm, resolute in your face
my offer is no disgrace to sanctity
only a question of profit, I buy
you sell
as God is my witness
it is truth I speak
perhaps, you the keeper of such value
alone know what it is
the sticker on the figure
is a matter of trade

I retreat, leave the idol on your shelf
hear you call me back
pull a wrapper and roll it around
the little figurehead
for a nickel more than
I offered, 
I accept.

(c) Neetu M.

 

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