On Paying for the Privilege

Suppose the price were for a stamp?
Would you refuse to pay,
if knowing without postage
you had no method to say

to friends in far-flung places
(quite impractical to meet)
the things that occupied your mind,
your heart, the path under your feet?

You’d gladly pay, yet you begrudge
the folks who tote the mail
(to extend out the metaphor)
and when their servers fail

you act as if the world had stopped,
a world you fill with files,
and endless bytes of words and wisdom,
user pics and styles.

It’s strange, that because it’s the ‘Net
some think it should be free —
and out of five and some odd million
so few pay the fee.

It’s service: you don’t have to mind
the disk space or the links,
the constant monitoring for threats
or fix the backbone’s kinks.

You’d pay for stamps, and envelopes
for letterhead and pens
to keep in constant contact with
a worldwide web of friends,

So why not pay for what you need,
and not let someone else
foot, at a loss, the great expense
of what defines your self?

16 JAN 2005

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