Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I stole an apple, ripe and red,
?hanging on my neighbor’s tree.
?“He’ll never miss just one,” I said,
?and ate it up. Then, fat and fed,
?I licked my sticky hands and fled,
?smug and conscience-free.

But as I quit the neighborhood,
?a thief, who’d seen my larceny,
?back-traced my steps through field and wood,
?and coming on the small abode
?where all my worldly goods were stored,
?took what belonged to me.

Does nothing sacrosanct remain?
?No fellowship? No hidden line?
?No code of honor in the grain
?to make another thief refrain
?from poaching in this thief’s terrain?
?That’s wrong! What’s mine is mine!