When I am Gone
Do not think falsely of me when I am gone
Or dishonor me with libellous praise;
Truth should prevail now my life is done –
Do not my faults rephrase.
As my time ends, and the clock winds down
So living memories start to fade;
Don’t anoint me with some false crown –
Just accept what a mess, of life, I made.
We all praise the departed dead
Often with a goodness undeserved;
A custom for centuries widespread
Is still these days observed.
But my truth is simple and needs to be told:
‘I didn’t always love you’;
My betrayal of you was cruelly cold:
Numerous times I was untrue.
In selfish rejection of you, I lied –
Abusing trust with my deceit;
Scorning you when you cried,
I turned away in callous retreat.
So do not demean me with false gloss
Accept my faults and know what I became –
The master of the double cross,
The trickster, the conman, devoid of shame.
Just remember me with honesty
What I was – not what I should have been;
A flawed man with this late apology
For his unmitigated life of sin.