Fred Johnson

Nereus
Vitam impendere vero
–Juvenal

Nereus sold lies.
He opened a stall without a licence
And made a small fortune.

He had lies for every occasion
For both marriage and political office
Lies were essential. For divorces, too.

Nereus would adjust a lie
To suit the purpose, a special skill –
Libels were extra.

He would provide a lie
To cover up a lie –
The outcome of a lie was not his concern.

He sold a product
And what was done with it was up to
The purchaser.

But he never had a single
Complaint. He knew how to keep
His curiosity in check.

Consider Nereus
And his trade. All done from a stall
For which he never had a licence.