Turning to the left it seems I greatly do offend,
but when correcting to the right my accusers still with me indignantly contend;
silent though I should most prudently remain,
I'm blamed for speaking worse still the same;
and when faulted for failing with strangers my words to entrust,
if unguarded I should speak, it's reported of my friends I said something quite unjust.
With no place that proper is my own,
but sleeping only in a space that renting is inconvenient given me on loan,
and with no honor save what to others I am expected dutifully to give,
I walk an unfamiliar with acquaintances and as their debtor do repaying live.
Nothing to my now repudiated name,
none to hold and as my lover claim,
left with only solitude and isolating shame,
I see why infamy is now my lasting fame.
Perhaps in time I'll better learn to be,
and by some granted grace fewer will find fault with me,
but till that day when my crooked life is mercifully made right,
I must bear with private dignity each humiliating stroke and slight,
and pray that they who suffer me to with them live,
by the cross I make them bear my existence do forgive.
Read more articles by Tim Rake or search for articles on the same topic or others.