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‘The Pardoner’s Tale’

Updated: Dec 30, 2023


Roger Stennett - United Kingdom
Roger Stennett - United Kingdom

POETRY

‘The Pardoner’s Tale’

It is a ‘job’ to do. A Pardoner, me.

A doer of deals between God and Man.

An intercessor for those with the means

To pay, to squeeze between the rungs

Of Heaven’s Gate. Never too late to pay

The price for a lifetime of bad ways.

But I advise it’s best to do the deal

When you’ve still have breath to say

‘Mea culpa’ and mumble a sad ‘Amen’

By the candlelight of a traveller’s Inn

I tell tales and pilgrims’ ears prick up.

Fair Canterbury is not so far off now

But who knows if there’s mercy enough

To go round all of the broken souls

Who arrive there on pious bleeding knees

To beg forgiveness of a busy God?

Better, by far, to do a deal with me.

A Papal policy to protect against eternal flames.

How can I guarantee the veracity

Of my rolled parchment promises

Of life eternal? Look into my eyes

And please, tell me, what you see?

An honest man, concerned with truth

Helping fellow souls through Purgatory?

Or a mendicant, just begging for a living?

Your choice to make. Down to the last few

A final chance to live, or die, for evermore.

Roger Stennett

UK

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