One-a-Day Friday 5/9/14

number 1Warning: this poem–if you can call it that–kinda blindsided me.  It’s not what I intended to write today.  And yet, it’s what came out.  Read gently.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it (Matthew 5:14).

When will I let go?

I am a child gripping candy in his fist.

I won’t let go, even though the candy is old

and foul

and sticky

and no good for me.

I scream and wail and weep because you ask me to give you

that which only rots my teeth

and, frankly, tastes awful.

It’s been on the ground, but I’ve scooped it up.

I rubbed it on my shirt, but still it’s covered

with dirt

and grit

and nasty bits.

I can’t possibly enjoy it, but I will





no matter how you ask.

Why must you ask?

Why must you be so gentle?

Tear it from my hand, Lord—I know you could.

Ignore the shrieks of protest.

Ignore the tantrum.

Just do it.

Because if you wait for me to give it up, I fear I never will.

Because if I…

if I give it up, what if there is nothing else?

What if, in spite of your promises, this sticky



mess is all there is or ever will be

of life

of self

of me?

What if, once lost, I am never found?

Oh God, you curse me with a freedom that is more than I can bear.

Quickly now, before I can think about it

like a splinter

or a bandaid.

I hold my breath

and grit my teeth

and close my eyes…

and release.

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