“What do you mean, declined?”

“What do you mean, declined?”

I blinked uncomprehendingly
At the Caucasian woman
40-something
Kind, and yet detached
Who did not want
To place a stumbling block
Between me and my purchase of

A splendid painting
(Done on cloth
In pure traditional technique)
Of gracious Bodhisattva Tara
Precious Buddha of right action
That I longed to bring back home
And hang upon my bedroom wall

“I’m sorry, sir,” she said
Do you perhaps have
Any other payment method?”

“Uh, of course, hang on”
And so
I fished out my bank debit card
Procured the thangka and
Went blithely on with my retreat
(Receiving teachings from
H.H. The Dalai Lama!)

It wasn’t till I got back home
And logged on to my credit cards
And bank accounts
And did the math
I realized just what I’d done

In retrospect
(With psychiatric input)
We looked back on that hot summer
As the time I had
My first full manic episode

And I’d spent nearly every penny
That we had
(And thank-you to the
Miracle of credit cards
I’d also spent
Near every cent
We didn’t have)

The summer
And the years we spent
Exhuming our financial state
Remodeled my relationship
With money

It’s not that I won’t let it go
(It goes as freely as it comes
And both of those will vary)

It’s more that where and how it goes
Are things that I will monitor with
Lots
And lots
Of care

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