Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Nothing But the Truth!"

I raised my right hand and said,
“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth,
And nothing but the truth,”
The bailiff stopped me, I had just begun,
“We don’t do that anymore, son,
There’s no need to plant that seed,
We try to assume no one lies in truth or deed,
“Then why are we here?” my voice loud and strong,
Isn’t somebody being tried because he did wrong?”
“Contempt of court!” the judge roared my way,
“Lock him up, for a week and a day,
He’s prejudiced this trial, I’ll tell you why,
We wanted to find out who would lie,”
I should have been quiet, like I usually do,
I didn’t realize just what havoc would ensue,
“Judge, I have the answer, I surely do,
Anyone who moves their lips, is lying too,”
His face was distorted, he mopped his face,
“I don’t think you have a clue about this place,”
He rolled his narrowed eyes before he said,
“I wish I was a king and I’d say off with his head,”
Instead he sentenced me to a day and a year,
My lawyer explained until the message was clear,
“Justice is blind, and the law is ruthless,
We challenge each person as if he were truthless,”
“See this coffee cup?” He pointed to the one in his hand,
“I’m going to ask you questions until you understand,
Answer the questions truthfully, and do your best,
When I am finished, there will be a short test,”
He chuckled gleefully, “This is as easy as falling off a log,
I’ll lead you to the conclusion this cup is a frog,”
“But what about the truth?” I asked with some doubt,
“Forget the truth,” he snapped, “we want all the facts out!
We want evidence, arguments, burdens of proof,
When it’s all verified we’ll come out with some truth,”
I shook my head, “If a liar tells the truth, will someone believe?
Or if someone normally honest lies, will you know he deceives?
Is truth a mixture of reality and imagination, a poet’s dream?
Or is truth stranger than fiction, just as it seems?”
The lawyer scratched his head and started to grin,
“If you were a lawyer, I think you might win,
Lying for a good reason, twisting truth on a case,
If you stretch the facts a little, you’ll build a good base,
If you lead people to a conclusion with your evidence,
You’ll win most of your cases if the juries you convince.”
He patted me on the back and looked me in the eye,
“You should know the truth, when you’re released by and by.
The truth must be outdated,
At least it’s considered overrated,
However you can get by,
Whether you steal, cheat, or lie,
If you can get away with it,
Don’t let it bother you one bit,
When I was just a child,
Perhaps I was just a bit wild,
But Dad took me aside and said,
“This could probably be left unsaid,
But just so you can sleep at night,
Learn to treat folks just right,
Be honest when you give your word,
So they don’t have to guess what they heard,
And if you shake hands to seal a deal,
Remind yourself your word is real,”
Through the years I’ve stayed on track,
And I don’t see a reason for turning back,
I found it true I could sleep at night,
Just because I did things right.
(Part one)

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