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The Dynamics of Capitalism

While fumbling for change to buy the paper,
I drop two quarters.
Suddenly I'm seized by curiosity.
I pretend not to notice.
What course would
the grandmotherly proprietress follow?
She saw the coins fall, she must have,
for her suspicious eyes had never left me.
But she just sits there vulture-like
as I walk down the aisle and turn  my back
but not the corner of my eye.
Now she makes her move.
She switches her gaze from me to the coins;
she swoops and I swipe
a candy bar of equal worth.
Then noisily I turn
and proceed slowly towards the door.
She wears a Mona Lisa grin.
I give her a polite nod and leave.
I find myself under the shadows
of skyscrapers almost infinitely tall,
each tower raised by countless deals upon deals
made in myriad corporate boardrooms,
pyramids built by endless
fair exchanges.

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