The First Shall Be Last

For Three Word Wednesday, prompt words brandish, forbid, manage.

The First Shall Be Last

Rosy smile baring perfect teeth,
well-fed body arising as the
blessed sun in the east, behind
the lectern looking for all the world
like a slick advertisement
in some hip magazine. Brandish
words. Slap the holy book,
make the hard sell. Not having lived,
forbid earthly pleasure, demand
sacrifice since the easy road
grinds on the backs of others—
all praise to you, God’s
humble, polished servant.
It may be, in the Last Day,
he will manage to forgive.


7 thoughts on “The First Shall Be Last

  1. Succinctly put! I like it. I third Jae's comment about false prophets. Some of those fellows are too slick to be believed. “Salvation at $99.95!” It really makes me think about that one passage (I think it's Matthew 6-ish?), in which Jesus rattles off a bunch of things like, don't be a hypocrite and make a big deal of donating to charity or grab up as much wealth as you can or praying loudly on street corners (and what speaks louder in our society now than TV?)


  2. Looks as though the preacher had to focus on someone and unfortunately it was you!

    Despite that I thought it was a beautifully written piece with the message coming across loud and clear!


  3. The irony in words like “rosy” and “polished” really hit home. You've painted a portrait here of someone who has accepted form over content. I don't know whether to be sad or angry.



  4. I apologize for not responding earlier; I've been away from the computer for a few weeks. Thanks to each of you for reading and for such considerate comments. I hope to get back to writing poetry soon!


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