The Mercy Seat

By Cathleen Falsani 09-22-2011

It ALL began when they come took me from my home
And put me on Death Row,
a crime for which I am totally innocent, you know.

I began to warm and chill
To objects and their fields,
A ragged cup, a twisted mop
The face of Jesus in my soup
Those sinister dinner deals
The meal trolley's wicked wheels
A hooked bone rising from my food
All things either good or ungood.

And the mercy seat is waiting
And I think my head is burning
And in a way I'm yearning
To be done with all this weighing of the truth.
An eye for an eye
And a tooth for a tooth
And anyway I told the truth
And I'm not afraid to die.

-- From "The Mercy Seat," by Johnny Cash

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