a presumptuous kneeling

i carry a cross this day,
pious death-reminder,
and the novel sensational empty stomach
of one who has never not had a choice.
This year, forty days meat-free,
But I fear the old, old ways and excuse myself
from an oil-free, wine-free, butter-free cleansing-time
this year, again, i cling to these to soothe the daily hurts
this year, again,
like always.

Why, then, should i take up a cross
why play at sacrifice
why join to myself a sign of penitence,
i who have not released my grip
on anger, fear, flippancy, pride
or the corroding grotesque apathy of self-indulgence?

It is not my cross.

Not mine but
his who was for us the ash of Palm Sunday
plowed back under the dust by
anger, fear, flippancy, pride
It is him, not i, who has won the contest
in losing all I still retain.

And now, as our Savior has taught us, we are bold to say:
We are weak dust ash
and there is nothing to be done for it
Christ have mercy

Christ have mercy

Christ have mercy.

Leave a comment


  1. Amen. So happy to be sharing poetry together this season.

  2. meldenius

     /  March 12, 2014

    Ouch. Wonderful ouch.


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