I don’t normally write poems to thank people for things they’ve given me, which is worse than looking a gift horse in the mouth, categorizing the molars to embarrass the giver. Who knows the horse might be lame or have a psychological problem. If they had to give it to me they must have had their reasons. I shouldn’t be such a mule as to question the fitness of things. I must have deserved it in their eyes and so on. Why cast aspersions on a friend’s magnanimity with any suggestion that I could be otherwise than pleased, killing sincerity with flattery. They have their thanks if their heart’s in the right place, and God knows the rest. But let me take your case. If you’re no friend there are no friends. So I want you to know that a friend who’d give me such and such a thing is too much appreciated to slight with a few words. Why finalize my obligations? I consider your special gift an investment in friendship, a company of no small promise. I ain’t so cheap as to buy you off now when the stocks are practically worthless. I’d rather keep your gift in holding. Let the interest accrue. It’s understood you get ten percent of all future profits. But shouldn’t I wait for the results to be posted, I ask you, you who have handed me my future on a platter? That’s a lot of possibility there; I might never be able to use it all. But as I said I don’t usually write poems to thank people for the things they’ve given me, although I’m witing this one to thank you.

8 August 1975