The only sin I ever did commit was lying to cover up a murder.
I told them I was innocent, that I didn’t even know the guy and those bastards had it all wrong.
I didn’t kill him; that’s the lie I told.
But I never meant to lie. You told me it’s wrong to lie and that the devil himself comes at night to claim sinners and liars.
Now I’m a sinner and a liar, Momma. I should’ve told the truth about killing that bastard while his bastard kid watched. I know I’m wrong, but I didn’t want to get caught, Momma.
You always told me Poppa was a lying son-of-a-bitch, and if I lied, I’d be a sinner just like him. I never wanted that, Momma. Honest.
So I want to be honest with you now, Momma.
I want you to know I’m not like Poppa. I was gentle. I told the boy that everything was going to be okay. I didn’t hurt him. I got blood on his shirt, so I wiped it off. But I swear I kept honest with him, Momma. I told him things were going to be okay, and I left him be.
I didn’t mean to lie, Momma.
I watched the bastard and his kid come home. I had a key. I hid where they couldn’t find me. I didn’t make a noise. I watched them open a can of black beans and make soup. It was just them, that bastard and his kid. I didn’t hurt the kid; he’s okay, Momma, I promise.
I came out after they got done eating their soup. I was hungry, but that’s not why I came out. I walked into their dining room with my shotgun and I told that bastard he couldn’t do nothing more to me and that’d be the end of all that. He got mad and came at me so I shot him in his chest. He died real quick and I saw his boy get real scared and piss himself when I walked over to wipe the bastard’s blood off his shirt.
Then it got real quiet so I told the boy to stay put and everything was going to be okay and I didn’t know what else to do. They didn’t finish the soup but I don’t think I was hungry no more. I don’t know who the hell would want to eat black bean soup, anyway. So I ran out of the house and dropped my shotgun at the door.
You always told me to be honest, Momma, but as soon as those cops picked me up from the roadside, I knew I was going to do something bad, Momma.
I lied. I’ve sinned, Momma.
I told them bastards I didn’t do it. I kept my head high and I told those bastards in blue to go to hell (right along with that bastard I killed). It just came out, my lie. I was real scared, Momma.
They took me in, and here I am now. Please don’t hang up on me, Momma. I didn’t mean to go off and tell a lie like that. I didn’t get up this morning and set out to be just like Poppa. I know what you always told me about him. You said he’d kill me if I crossed him and I saw you cry a lot the day he walked out. But you said it was good, because he wouldn’t be bringing those lies back into our house.
I’m glad he’s gone, Momma.
Are you glad?
They told me I’m in a lot of trouble. I know it’s wrong, but I don’t see all this fuss for just a little lie, Momma.
They told me I might not see you again. I might be getting put away for a long time and I might never come out.
I’m just like him now. I guess that’s why I’m in trouble. His sins are my sins now, Momma. I’m a sinner just like Poppa and I’ll die one, too.
Maybe I’ll die in here, Momma.
Maybe I’ll get to see Poppa again if I die.
But until that happens, I’ll never sin again as long as I live, Momma. I’ll tell the truth now and never lie again.
I’ll tell them I killed Poppa with my shotgun and his new bastard kid saw the whole thing. I’ll tell them I tried to wipe the blood off the boy’s shirt and that’s why my hands are covered in the stuff. I’ll tell them Poppa was a lying son-of-a-bitch and I deserve to be put away because I’m a lying son-of-a-bitch too, Momma.
I’ll make this right, Momma.
Would that make you proud, if I told the truth?
Tell me I’ve done good, Momma. That’s all I want. I don’t want you to be mad at me. I just want know I’ve done good, after all.
I put Poppa down, just like I know you wanted. You never said it, but I know you wanted it just like I did. He walked out on you all those years ago. He was a lying son-of-a-bitch. His new boy won’t hear no more of his lies. I told the boy it was all going to be okay. I wiped Poppa’s blood off his shirt just like Poppa wiped your blood off his and I told him it was going to be okay. God’s honest truth.
I guess I’ll go the grave with a dirty sin under my belt. Maybe the devil himself will come to claim me tonight.
But you know what? It felt good, Momma.
It felt good.