Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Lenten Lament

We speak of preparation as though we intend to go somewhere.
We speak of journey as if we might move from where we are.
We know the language, and look for the signs, though
Not directional ones; only those comforting us with labels.

Cross-shapened ashes, luncheon meditations,
Dark night of rejection, and silent Saturday,
No longer point the way, or open the ways,
But nod in boredom to our customary presence.

Lent is what we do, for now (spirituality de jour);
Extra services to remember, and some denials, though few.
But the movement is hesitant, circular, and forgotten,
And we no more know ourselves, or God, than before.

Snatch from my breast the sequestered breath, and
Force me to rise up, gasping in the rarified air.
Make my movement both craving and delight.
Firm my resolve for hope to swallow my fear.

Take me into the bowels of lent, and release me,
To flounder against the cacophony of cares;
So I may crave your numinous grace
And rush headstrong to the crimson cross.

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