Be the Truth a Meager Flame?


It was said that truth could be measured,
That a good-hearted deed much like a wicked one,
Earned equal though contrasting rapture or pleasure,
That the meat of what matters cost a toll to be paid
At a wicked man's hanging-and an honest man's leisure.
Did not such things reside all in our heads?
Did a lie become truth as the teller dies old,
And the dates and the facts pass from knowledge in his bed?
That the blue sky the day she died
Sent her off to her late husband's side was actually red?
Was truth the same in fatigue as in rest?
Was he too scared or ashamed to recall?
Did it gain or lose inches as the issue was pressed?
Like a caged beast starving for meat,
Did his heart slam against the bars of his chest?
Now that I've lied a whole life all for naught,
I can say with something that feels close to honest,
That a true man may die but will never rot,
That despite a meager flame his torch was not one
That this world too quickly forgot.

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