Sunday, August 19, 2007

The State Pathologist

I am the State Pathologist, O’Dwyer is my name.
I am the expert in my field, despite what others claim.
Some say that I’m incompetent or too long in the tooth,
But the reason I’m suspended is I just can’t tell the truth.

I tell such bare-faced whoppers, sprinkled with exaggeration.
A farmer’s wife who choked to death, I called it strangulation.
The farmer was arrested and they sentenced him to life.
He still protests he’s innocent of murdering his wife.

A charred and blackened body in a house burnt to the ground-
I looked the Sergeant in the eye and told him she’d been drowned.
A man found with his throat cut and his feet and hands all tied-
My professional opinion was – a tragic suicide.

The more I practised to deceive, the more my web got tangled.
A nasty airplane accident – I said they’d all been strangled.
“A heart attack,” I ventured, of a man shot in the head.
I wrote down “Death by Hanging” of a man found dead in bed.

I think the final straw came with the body in the wood.
Its head was found a mile away, bathed in a pool of blood.
I gave the time of death around a quarter after five,
Then, kneeling o’er the torso, I exclaimed, “She’s still alive!”

I know that I’m not senile for I’m well within my prime.
So why do I tell all these fibs and waste the Gardai’s time?
It isn’t done maliciously, from badness or from spite.
I try to tell the truth, but then the words don’t turn out right.

The Minister for Justice was quite clearly unimpressed.
He raved and ranted for an hour, as though he were possessed.
He slammed the files shut and yelled “Explain yourself, O’Dwyer!”
“That’s easy, sir,” I countered, “I’m a pathological liar.”

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