Winner's Guilt and Buckshot

I'd been watching the auction
for a week from my computer.
No one had touched the starting price.
I thought of where to hang the piece--
a relic of a shotgun built in 1896.

An hour before it was programmed to close
a faceless stranger from the Internet
tried to stake his claim.
I chewed on the rim of my coffee mug
and refrained from chiming in.
I'd let him get comfortable
and swoop in at the end.
If bidding was like battle
then the idea was to win
with as little loss as possible.

With 18 minutes left
I fired off my offer.
The adversary must not have noticed.
He didn't counter once.
The clock ran out and I won
for half of what I'd paid
for the same item two weeks prior.
Though I'd technically done better
I felt like I had cheated.

I'd be an awful general.
I'd sacrifice to earn.
I know my favorite of the two
will be the one I fought for.

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