The Preacher Man

The night was dark and dusty and the moon was hard to see
The tavern was a sorry place for beggars and for thieves
A mangy mutt was yelping, he got kicked out of the door
And an old man with his crutches fell unconscious on the floor

The bartender was worried for a hush fell through the place
The swinging door swung open and he saw a grizzled face
A one-eyed bearded preacher man was standing by the door
But preaching wasn’t on his mind, that’s not what he’d come for

A cross-eyed belly dancer who was decades past her prime
Began to look him over, but he didn’t look her kind
He seemed as though he’d travelled far;
   his boots were caked with dirt
And it looked as though the preacher man had cocaine on his shirt

He slowly crossed the tavern floor, the patrons only stared
The conversations ended then, but no one left their chairs
The barkeep took a bottle out and left it on the bar
The preacher man said not a word, just swallowed long and hard

He slowly turned and faced the crowd when he had had his fill
He asked them in a muffled voice while everyone was still
“I came to meet my enemy, I’m sure that he’s around
It’s time to stop this endless feud, it’s gone on much too long”

They knew who he was talking ‘bout, no reason to repeat
They’d seen the scoundrel picking cigarette butts from the street
And hurling vague obscenities to anyone that passed
Oh yes, they’d seen the enemy, his time had come at last

“I’m here to settle up a score that’s gone on all my life
This scum has been a curse to me each day and every night
I took a trip to where he lives, but couldn’t find him there
He’s not in Hell, I just got back, I think he might be here”

“’Cause he needs a place where he can hide from preacher men like me
Old Satan is a sorry soul who has no right to be
He might be one of this sad lot all masked in a disguise
He’s everything that I abhor, he’s all that I despise”

The patrons sat in horror as his raging filled the room
They trembled as they realized the end was coming soon
For the one eyed bearded preacher man who stood there in their midst
Had let them see the fear of God exploding through his fist

“Yes, Satan’s in each one of you, this no one can deny
I’m gonna beat him out of you tonight, and if you die
The good Lord will forgive you, for all the sins you’ve done
And maybe then He’ll welcome you into his Kingdom Come”

And then the one eyed preacher man went stomping out the room
He had to find another bar to preach his sermon to
He knew that some of those inside had heard the words he said
And maybe they would seek the Lord before they wound up dead