The Senator and The Truth

At bedtime, the Senator,
An occasional father,
Reads from a book
Too young for his daughter,
“Goodnight, Moon” he concludes,
Leaning forward to administer the kiss…

Putting her tiny hand on his mouth
To stop him, she softly asks,
With all the authority of her
Eight years of innocence
“Daddy, why do you lie?”

Asweat and trembling, the Senator
Awakens from his dream,
His nightmare, at three a.m.,
Face to face with
The Unguarded Truth of Sleep.

“I lie because I have to,
It takes away the pain of
Truth, of complicated thinking,
It keeps me safe
From competition, from
Uncertainties.”

“I lie because my leader tells me to,
Because the people are not
Smart enough to understand Power,
And I am,
I lie because I am accepted by
My peers when I do it.”

“I lie because I want the money
Lying brings to me and my family, and
I lie because no one stops me, because
The ‘journalists’ I invite to my
Press conferences wink and nod and
Love access as much as I love lying.”

“I lie because I am lazy and cowardly,
Because studying the origin and history
Of my country and understanding
Its Constitution
Would take time away from my deals,
And give me ideas I don’t like…
Or understand.”

Rattled, the Senator rises and goes to
His daughter’s bedroom and
Watches her peaceful sleep.
“At least, she will never want for anything.”

Robert E. Barber, Jr

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