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Feb 26
a man privately asks, can you help?
you say, sure-no-hesitation

let me think on it for a day or two, he says
yet you act even before he comes back,
too late, you say, when he returns,
too late, he repeats in puzzlement,
yup, my check is in the mail,
cause one senses the need is dire plus,
plus you well recall the immutable obligation when  
a vague commitment of “just ask” was inked in a long ago message,
a poem born from/in the days when you slept in the car on the street

this vague promissory,
a more enforceable judgement in your own court of law
than any state construct or the judgmental eyes of a silenced god

word, honor, do.

thus it begins, an unwritten contract inked,
an egregious interest rate of 0% proffered and agreed,
commences a plain white envelope trickle,
a check inside, by postal mail, slowly it came,
month by month, inch by inch, Niagara Falls ^

years go by, and then comes a day,
when the accompanying check and its gift wrapped note says,
Paid In Full!

and so much for the tedious minutiae...

like kindness, I do,
Thank You and Your Welcome
are high on my list of proofs of
daily human extensions existential,

Paid in Full,
now rests at the top of the list

let me be blunt, the thrill of being a party
to a deal with no handshake, just coated in the
honorable words waterproof sealant,
with a person I likely may never meet,
made me so better assured of whom many claim I am,  
a mathematical proof revered and kept mind inscribed,
it was an aspirational ****, an unforeseen monthly blunt,
the best feeling good smile,
a kick in the pants about what really matters

being paid twice over and me,
getting by far,
the humanity confirmation,
the better half of the deal

write too often of honor,
and yet, will instinctual do again,
again overpowering my rays of will,
for there is no deflection, only reflection

for the glorious riches gifted and received,
without compare
the return on my honorable investment the best ever


oh brotherhood, oh brotherhood,
I am paid in the currency coined from brotherhood...
^ from a Laurel and Hardy routine
yup, true story
"This above all: to thine ownself be true"
which denies the escape
of being false to any human.”
Nat Lipstadt
Written by
Nat Lipstadt
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