The things I have given up

Unintentionally I gave up

A nasty habit

On the first day of Lent and now

I wonder if

I can make it to Easter and if it means

Anything anyway.

The things I have given up

In the past –

So many things – I have wanted to hold

Onto the ones

I am giving up now if only

To declare

Some good within the vices

I have left.

But was there so much in what

I chose to avoid

Setting out intentions to cover large

Swaths of time like

Great tents over the desert with a sentry

At the flaps?

Is there so much in what I am not or

Not doing that

I should pitch my nights in Gethsemene?

I feel that

I should not need it and still I return to this

Purgative act.

I wonder at them men who see the world clear and

Continue to toil

For themselves when all I can hear between

Posturing words

Are the madding and proud lamentations

Of a sickness

Undiagnosed. But here, where I lay down what

I gave up

I find the formula and its here and always

In this one place

Where I stand that I will continue to find it

The meretricious

Urge that speaks to our needfulness is

Powerless in

The face of the heart when it smiles at the wrangling

Sins of the mind.