the satisfaction of pride

This poem would have been perfect for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, but I don’t want to wait another year to post it. Anyway, something on pride is very fitting for Lent.

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Forget about the other six, says Pride.
They’re only using you.
Admittedly, Lust is a looker,
but you can do better.

And why do they keep bringing us
to this cheesy dive?
The food’s so bad that even Gluttony
can’t finish his meal.

Notice how Avarice
keeps refilling his glass
whenever he thinks we’re not looking,
while Envy eyes your plate.

Hell, we’re not even done, and Anger
is already arguing about the bill.
I’m the only one who
ever leaves a decent tip.

Let them all go, the losers!
It’s a relief to see Sloth’s
fat ass go out the door.
But stick around. I have a story

that not everyone appreciates—
about the special satisfaction
of staying on board as the last
grubby lifeboat pushes away.

— Dana Gioia

Published in First Things Aug/Sept 2010

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