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The Bargain
July 2, 2002

Long before time as we know it began
We lived up in heaven without care.
But all of us knew that the Lord had a plan
To send us all off to elsewhere.

Handsome, I was, with a head of thick hair,
And wealthy and witty and bright.
And athletic? I'll tell you, nobody there
Could race me and keep me in sight.

Then the time came to choose families and I
Knew just which of all the kids there
I wanted to raise, I'd decided to try 
To take home the very best pair.

The trouble, of course, was that everyone there
Had their eye on the children I wanted.
I knew it would be hard, but I didn't care. 
I charged into battle undaunted.

A lot of the bidders soon threw in their hand
'Cause the bargaining just got too tough.
They decided to find some kids less in demand
After all, there were children enough.

After some time only six had held out
All wanting to take the same souls.
I knew it was time to get serious about
Negotiating to accomplish my goals.

I drew a deep breath and said "I am prepared
To exchange all my wealth for these kids."
"Deal!" someone said, then he scampered off, scared
That he'd miss out on some other bids.

"I'll take your good looks" another one said.
I conceded, then turned to the rest
And offered the thick colored hair on my head
To anyone who would take second best.

Now only two fellow bidders were left
And I offered up my amazing physique.
If that's what it took, through my life I would heft
With a back that was painful and weak.

Then face to face with one man there I stood
Contemplating "What barter remains?"
If you wonder why this little poem is no good
It's 'cause he got the best of my brains.

So that's how it happened that I have with me
The finest kids—it's cause I paid.
For them I gave all of my health, wealth, and beauty—
It's the best deal that I've ever made.

Frank Leany

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