Monday, November 16, 2015

The Philosopher's Stone Offering Plate

Panurge had nothing on him as a kid.
Once, when he was barely seven or ten
He noticed that at the back of his church

The polished silver and scarlet velvet
Offering plates the congregation passed
On their way out the door were often filled

With ostentatiously loosely folded
And uncurling large denominations
Of what wasn't rendered unto Caesar,

And this in a true Baptist church no less.
He perfected his own palming technique
And then asked his father for a dollar.

On his way out of the cinderblock nave
The next Sunday he targeted a ten
And deposited a one in its place.

He got good at this. He became better
At recon, scanning the plate on approach.
Each Sunday another one for twenty.

But where to spend the pirate's treasure chest?
It accumulated in a sock drawer.
His mother found it, and he was well whipped

For all his dexterity and wisdom
About the ways of resources and men.
He never prospered gainfully again.

Here endeth a lesson.

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