The Reverend’s Fall*

He knows that he is his worst enemy,
glad for one side of the fated coin,
the flip side glaring back at thee.
The mass of humans he’s refused to join.

He professes with one side of his mouth
how glad he is to embrace humanity,
but with the other side of the felled house,
he stares down with swollen vanity.

He says the devil made him do it all,
refraining from any ownership.
Adam, Eve and the snake caused the Fall,
but on his own ego does he trip.

Each Lord’s Day he ascends the pulpit high,
looking down upon the pathetic few.
He preaches the great love of Yahweh,
But the parishioners can see right through.

He quotes poets and prophets long dead.
He preens and basks in the stained-glass light.
The flock only see the vanity flowing instead.
Not much longer will his star be bright.

They know he seduced an elder’s wife;
from the pulpit his fortunes are receedin’,
The judgment will pierce him like a knife.
Now his fortune will be East of Eden.

*based loosely on a character in a book by
William H. Gass

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