Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Smug SOB

It's what I wanted to be,
or said I did, as a half joke
to a friend awhile back.
At the time, I'd meant it as a full joke--
on the surface, while knowing
we both knew, at least philosophically,
jokes are built on truth.

I've grown considerably since then,
in understanding, and, I should like to think,
in savvy, as well.

Smugness, as I’ve always known,
is that sense of comfort and pride
we get at times when in part
through effort or mere fortune
we prevail where others fail.
What I've learned over time
is to own the sensation

but keep it secret
from all but those who get a wink.
It's akin to the joy good Christians hide
when they learn the elected sociopath’s lungs
are hosting the lethal bug he’d denied.

I'll bet even Christ felt schadenfreude
seeing the moneychangers’ rage
when his disruption at the temple
took the edge off
a profitable day.

                                                                                                                         m.d. paust

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