Righteousness ought not be for one's self.
One's righteousness must serve to save one's soul.
Self-righteousness makes righteousness the goal,
Having failed to cross that inner gulf,
Heart self-satisfied to heart of shame,
And found faith waiting on the distant shore.
So must one be less to compass more,
Having held one's goodness to the flame
And watched it turn to ashes instantly.
Nor can one be righteous on one's own,
As one finds one's unassuming home
Hard by the heart of one's community.
Copyright by Nicholas Gordon. Free for personal or non-commercial use.