Salvation

I’ve bullied, tyrannized, harassed,
Browbeaten and mistreated,
I’ve crept, and snuck, and sniveled,
Pussyfooted, whined, and cheated.

I duck and dodge, I hem and haw,
Beat around the bush and dally.
I sidestep, hedge, and waffle,
Quibble, and shilly-shally.

I fake and forge, flim-flam, and fudge,
Lie and prevaricate.
I twist the truth and fib the facts,
Mislead, equivocate.

I’ve conspired, connived, and plotted,
Perjured, bribed, and blamed.
I’ve condescended, patronized,
Scoffed, and laughed, and shamed.

I’m ill-mannered and bad-tempered.
I’m a crab, a grouch, a grump.
I dine out and never leave a tip,
And I voted once for Trump.

I beat my kids. I kick my dog.
I spit upon the street.
I generally have disrespect
For everyone I meet.

I littered and I loitered.
I never went to church.
I proposed to several ladies,
And left them in the lurch.

I’ve lusted, craved, and coveted;
I’ve stolen, scammed, and cursed,
I’ve wished ill on my neighbor.
I’m the pits! The dregs! The worst!

I’ve been a burden all my life.
I’ve been a perfect pain.
If I ascend to Heaven, Lord,
I’ll probably just complain.

But anyway, I’m here to say,
Before the gates of Heaven,
It’s nice to know, if I repent,
That ALL will be forgiven.

If life’s the agony preceding death..
... agony or something worse.
Then death’s the joy that follows life..
... the logical reverse?

Or is my logic faulty, Lord?
You’d be the One to know.
Shouldn’t we all go to Glory
After so much pain and woe?

But let me say just briefly, Lord,
Before I hear my sentence,
I’m really in the dark about
Just how to do repentance.

Do I fall upon my knees and sob?
Do I blubber that I’m sorry?
And how much penance is required
To buy just how much Glory?

Are you open to some kind of deal?
Is there money-back salvation?
Or how about a two-week trial...
Kind of a time-share vacation

In the outskirts of eternity
Just to get the feel
If it’s worth this blubbery penance.
ARE You open to a deal?

With so much chicanery these days,
I don’t have to tell You, Lord,
That one would be a fool, for sure,
To fall upon his sword,

Or blubber like a baby for
The highly doubtful promise
Of everlasting life on high...
And I’m NOT a doubting Thomas...

But You must know Yourself, Lord,
There are those who still insist...
(And may they rot in hell for it...)
That You do not exist.

Say now! There’s a thought, Lord.
Let me show how I adore You!
‘Spose I just go back and whack
A non-believer for You!

I’ll tie him up and slit his nose,
And break his knees and joints,
And throw him in the river.
That should be good for points.

And it’s more my line than penance.
So how much for non-believers?
A year of Glory for each atheist
And I can fill the rivers.

Or how ‘bout this, Lord? Pick a card.
Pick any card, and make Your mark upon it.
Now tear into tiny bits
And hide them in Your bonnet.

‘Spose then I reproduce it whole
With Your signature intact.
‘Cuz we can do some magic too,
You know. And that’s a fact.

Or three-card Monte, maybe.
Here’s two red cards and one black.
And watch, Lord, as I throw them down.
Now! Can You find the jack?

But I’m sensing in your silence, Lord,
That card tricks, whacks, and deals
Aren’t of much interest to You.
And frankly, Lord, it feels

Like you’re not even listening...
Which is really kind of rude!
In Sunday School no one mentioned
God had an attitude.

Is that St. Peter over there,
The keeper of the gate?
I’ll ask him about all this
If that’s OK. You wait.

Hey, Pete... I mean your Saintness...
Sorry... but I’m not getting anywhere
With my passport into Heaven
From His Highness over there.

Somehow I sense His hesitance
To issue me a pardon.
He doesn’t seem in any mood
To compromise or bargain.

But Pete, you seem a honest Joe,
A pal, a decent skin.
Look! His Nibs has turned His back.
C’mon now! Slip me in.

And wallah! The gates swing wide,
No penance, no deals, no catch.
So, thanks, Old Pete, Old Nick, Old Ned,
Old Pal, Old Stump, Old Scratch.

So, sinners, go straight to Old Saint Pete,
Petrus, Pedro, Pablo.
Skip What’s-His-Name. Pete waves in.
Some folks call him Diablo.