Our Father

by C.B. Anderson

When Evil rears its handsome head, its face
Might go unrecognized, much as an old
Acquaintance anchored in another place
And time remains a stranger till we’re told
His name and what peculiar grain ensouled
Our prior bond. Or it may simply be
That different people tend to disagree

About what’s clearly evil and what’s not:
A sin of trespass wreaks no fatal doom
The washcloth of forgiveness cannot blot;
And though temptations beckon like perfume,
We stumble past them to a smoke-free room.
Ah Satan, what conceit possessed you so
To lure us where no godchild ought to go?

Is evil, then, no more than absent good,
And darkness but the lack of holy light?
We’re not so sure. In this old neighborhood
Conventions aren’t the only gauge of right
And wrong, and we’ll be damned before we slight
The Devil and his due. Abomination,
For all we know, wields powers of creation.

Though this is Manichean heresy,
It’s not a bad idea to at least
Consider every latent verity,
Still hoping to attend the final feast
(Where Dad retires the number of the beast,
Who’s rumored to have spawned designer drugs)
And toast tradition with uplifted mugs.

But yet we ask, does all the breath we spent
Amount to nothing more than background noise
In Father’s grandiose experiment?
And are we mere inconsequential toys
For trifling with? Now listen, girls and boys:
Unorthodox as this must sound, we wish
We could escape His cosmic Petri dish.