We are rooted here in the profound momentum
of compound interest, and the precise unfolding
of its dark cousin, amortization.
These are phenomenon that shape our lives,
not only our exchanges,
with something not too far from beauty,
the beauty of dogwoods counting out blossoms
that divide in mathematical precision
into pink and white petals
until a strong wind runs them aground,
mixing them with progressions of whirling seedpods
from the red maple, and the green.
These numbers, then, are not just vanishing debts and spiraling totals,
but the interest compounding on sun and water,
the cycles of diminishment and growth.
In each of us, too, there are intimate mortgages,
ledgers and tables of root, branch, and flower,
annuities of love and generous impulse,
generations of quantity, color, and shaping will.
Collected or not, I have interest in you and you,
as you have in me: amor, amort, amount.

(from Making Change, Argonne House Press © 2001. Originally published in Tampa Review)

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