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The Parson’s Confession

by Darryl Willis

Pedestals are designed for urns
and figurines but not for priests and parsons.
Stained glass and sacred art cannot
hide a heart stained by greed and pride.
And I so long ago seemed far too strong
to fall victim to the lesser sins
of lust and rage and drunkenness. My flock
held me in respect (and I confess,
not without a little awe). And when
I walked into a room they turned to me
and gave a smile and nod of deference.
When the parish built for me a brand
new parsonage to honor my long years
of service I could not see what
was plain as the pious look pasted
on my face: how I manipulated
and cajoled to get what I thought I
deserved. Now as I gaze into my
avaricious eyes (as in a mirror
darkly) I can see all so clearly
now: my glass house is filled with stones.

Darryl Willis lives in Texas, and this poem was originally published in Eclectic Flash Literary Journal, Volume 1, September 2010. More of his work can be found on his blog at

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