Yes, I have been a hypocrite:
talked a good game, but never played;
and facing challenge, I have quit
the field and left teammates dismayed.
I’ve shouted sermons down the street
on practices I’d never tried
and often, told new folks I’d meet
colorful tales, most of them lies.
On politics, on love, on war
I’ve claimed my way the higher road,
poured salt in wounds I knew were sore
to prove some tenet of my code.
I’ve eschewed meat, when it was scarce,
naming some holy cause;
and when my vegan friends went home
found some steak bones to gnaw.
The pious route, the pilgrim’s path?
I’ve seen it from afar.
When people stumbled, I have laughed,
and drove off in my car.
What talents given me, I’ve wasted,
just to watch them spoil;
and criticized what I’d not tasted
just to play the foil.
Yes, I have done my part to serve
some causes rather lame;
and later claimed not to deserve
my fair share of the blame.
Yet, through all this, I’ve never lied;
when asked, I’ll say, “inhaled”,
and honestly, each thing I’ve tried
to fudge about, I’ve failed.
I’m no great angel, I’ll admit,
but have learned from my flaws;
and not been such a hypocrite
to think there should be laws
so everyone would act and live
the same way that I do;
to fight such thinking I would give
my life. How about you?
The hypocrite and martyr die
in differing degrees:
one in an instant, on their feet;
one lingers, on their knees.
08 JUN 2005