The Devil's Coat

A dark desert highway


I was driving in the desert, late one night,

the light had grown dim, and it blurred my sight.

I reached for a flashlight to clear the air;

and there he stood, all ablaze, in my headlights glare.

He thrust his arm forward, his hand spread “stop,”

I grabbed the wheel tightly like I would clutch a riding crop.

His eyes burned brightly; a scorching red, so hot;

burning a hole thru my windshield, making a dark singed spot.

He said with, a speechless tongue, “get out of that car;

don’t bring your coat or keys, ‘cause we ain’t goin’ far.”

I walked along behind him, my fears running wild,

I noticed a forked tail hanging from his coat. He styled.

He turned ‘round toward me as if to read my mind,

“you’ll find me quite cultured when YOU decide to sign.”

We trudged in the distance, the moon began to glow,

he gestured to a point in space he said I ought to know.

“Sanc-tu-ary” he yelled at the top of his lungs,

“forgiveness, a virtue, I hear, is not at the top of your rung.

Your battle with insanity and your vices so inept,

performances of virtue and charity you transcept.

Mediocrity, you exploit with a sleigh of the hand,

gathering reserves at your beck and call, all upon your command.

Swallowing your guilt, you feast on your pride;

making your agenda a meal of the bride.

You value equality and steal from the poor,

your words are the enemy, which you say you abhor.”

I stood there blankly, as I listened to his rants,

I wondered why he’d chosen me from which these seeds to plant.

“Excuse me great one,” I said quite timidly,

could you, perhaps by accident, have mistaken me?”

He threw his head in laughter, “Are you are not the enemy of the land?”

I shook my head decidedly to take a firm stand.

“I’m just a lonely wanderer across this arid place,

I haven’t found an anchor yet let alone a sacred space.”

“Well,” he continued “perhaps I could be wrong,

You surely understand what my job takes, regardless of how long.”

He scratched his head and stared at me, a grimace he did allow,

“go back to your car, that’s all I have to say for now.”

I pointed at his face turned blush, and before I could say adieu,

I asked him why he judged me harsh when he swang a tail too.

With a hoot and a holler, he opened his coat quite wide;

in haste he’d grabbed the wrong one from the thrift shop rack, on heaven’s poor north side.

I returned to my car that night, a little shaken yet,

If the great one made blunders too, who was I not to forgive and forget.


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