Give and it’ll come back to you
Pressed down
Shaken together
and running over

That tall man
With the great booming voice
And the well pressed suit
And the breath always in need of a tic tac
And who was cheating on his wife with…
Linda
I think?
Or Cheryll?
Whichever was first…
Said “it’ll come back to ya”

And I think I heard
It did come back
And that divorce settlement
Pressed down on him real hard
And those wives took
The church back
in some kinda coup
And no one really came to his sermons
No more
Cuz how can you hear of the holiness
of the body of Christ
From a man who’s defiling his own?

So we left that church
For none at all
My father always reckoned
He was a better preacher anyhow
He never quite said it
Boasting was below him
But we knew when he took out his
Makeshift podium
And set the dinner chairs in a row
He was gonna teach us a thing or two
About proper sermons

I think my daddy was a holy man
Cuz every holy man I’ve ever known
Turned out to be at least a little bit of an asshole
Something about a chaplain’s collar
And someone telling you
You’ve got God on your side
Makes you think
You can do anything

And my daddy
With the bigger voice
Long winded and verbose
Gave in to his feelings
Too much
But made them the only things
He didn’t talk about
With a boomier voice than the man
Sitting next to him
He gave in so much that they pressed
Him down as hard
As alimony did the preacher

They said that when he came back from the war
That he’d have to talk
To shake himself together
Or they’d keep shaking him down
Till his time ran out
And who wants to lead a life like that?

Then my mama
Who seemed to be fed up
With knowing all these holy men
Who couldn’t live straight
Or control their tempers
Said that all those men had been
Pressing on her and shaken her down
For too long
And cuz they had given so much
To the devil anyhow
That it seemed perfectly right
For her just to run them all over

She didn’t do it
Cuz she herself
Had given too much to the lord

But that just goes to show you
The mighty power of a sermon

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