My Mistake.

I’ve dialled you because

It must be told, and you’ll want to know!

What that’s you say?

You can’t hear, bad connection–

I’ll say it slowly, spell it out.

Ah, there you are, we’re back.

Shall I say it again?

You’ve heard his story already?

I hear something in the background,

What are those prayers?

Wishes of Midas, Croesus and Xerxes–

Do I have the right place?

You have been listening, haven’t you? But–

you tell me mine is vanity?

Bad connection indeed,

must be a wrong number–

I thought this was Truth’s line.


I’ve caught up at last!

Surely you know why I’m here.

I am here for—what are you doing?

You’ve broken your staff,

and you do it again?

How will you carry on going?

I don’t understand.

More? You certainly have more

break that in half, you’ll have more still.

Yes, many of them are even,

but at six inches long—well…

A very pretty row of twigs,

but now you’ve no walking stick!

And now you want mine?

A ‘collection’? No, that’s all right.

My mistake, wrong turn at the fork–

I thought this was Wisdom’s road–

and now I see Vice not far off!


I’ve arrived early, I didn’t want to miss you.

I was afraid no one would be here!

But good, the place isn’t shut,

Though I admit I’m surprised to see your eyes.

And your hands are empty–

save for that whip?

I come with a claim…

Yet you smile at me with rather sharp

but rather weak teeth—and cloudy cataracts.

That laugh I’ve grown used to, but I didn’t expect it here.

I thought this was—but there are a lot of dogs, aren’t there?

Quite shaggy, a bit thin, and, a cracking of more whips?

Pardon me if I scurry—you won’t hear my case anyway.

My mistake, wrong door.

I thought this was address of Justice.


At least one knew where one stood with the pagans.

Hermes and Ares I know by sight,

and he with his kithara, she with her girdle and

the one with the aegis.

Jove with his anger and his smile and his scales and Fates hotline,

his children, his loves; the grudges of them all:

their histories, their families, their favorites, their peeves;

the heroes and gods and spinners of yarns, birds, and stars.

They make sense.

Now I see the accoutrements in your midst from of old,

the fish and the cross, mission and vision and committees

and offices and seminars and synods and preaching and posturing.

And yet—who you are,

What this is—how the hell should I know?

My mistake—I thought this was the church.


‘I need the people that I really love / to only give me Truth.’ —Angels on My Side, Rick Astley.

<–Return to Table of Contents.



2 thoughts on “My Mistake.

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