I Kept My Bargain
Hank Spottswood

I made a bargain with time,
promised hours and novel rhymes
for its gift of years. I walked days
in all seasons, listened to grandparents
and infants. In December 1973, a quarter
and a dime heads-up in snowpacked leaves
beside a gravel road in Oldham County.
I described the surprise in my journal
as thirty-five cents of found poetry.

I hoped to create something truthful. 
Readers and poets may decide all that.
I wrote, thinking it a fair offer, the best
deal I could have imagined. It seemed then
a vital and noble indenture, to work and play
at verse, to give new mintings to old words,
testing each in my good ear against its ring
in the lines of poets I admired. Their sense
of the life of things.

That lost coins may go home.

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