I’m giving up chocolate and wine,
You said,
With that self-satisfied,
Smug look,
That only those people who have never been denied
A thing,
In their entire lives,
Can pull off.
I asked.
As you prepared to answer,
The way you held herself told me
That you thought I inquired out of admiration,
That I was expecting religion and reason in your answer,
That I wanted to learn from you,
To be you.
You could not be more wrong.
Not only did I not want to be you,
I also did not want your religion or your reason,
My question was more base than that.
When I asked you ‘why’
I was not soul-searching,
What I meant,
But was too polite to say,
Was ‘why bother?’
Why give up wine and chocolate and forty days
Whilst elsewhere people starve and suffer.
Jesus walked the desert for 40 days
But you,
You are going to deny yourself the most extravagant of treats.
I’m sure you’ll be able to console yourself
By driving your fast car,
Watching your embarrassingly large TV,
Or baking some chocolate free treats,
In your state of the art oven,
Which cost you more than the GDP of a small country.
You think I admire you,
But I despise you,
For your lack of vision.
My view soured because this morning,
A small child told me that for Lent she was giving up
The possession she loved above all others.
A rabbit she had carried and cuddled daily since she was
Too small to remember.
Her mother’s eyes betrayed concern,
Her daughter would not be able to sleep,
Would weep inconsolably,
But her resolve was strong.
Jesus had suffered she said.
So she felt that she must too.
And this was the only way her
Five-year-old brain knew how.
But you…
And your wine,
And your chocolate.
Don’t even begin to pretend,
That what you are doing
Has meaning,
Beyond your saccharine Facebook updates,
And self-congratulating Tweets.

Self Denial - a poem by Pooky

[This poem is written in response to a suggestion by @gilloballybay and I was aiming for the style of the pieces you hear read, often with venom, during poetry slams. I think perhaps there is a wee bit more bile in here than I intended]

This entry was posted in Daily Life, Emotions, Requests and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Self-Denial

  1. Bile is good in this situation Pooky. I had an interesting thing said to me once about Lent. It went a bit like instead of what are you giving up for lent, which i agree with you is a silly thing anyway, but rather what are you going to do for Lent? I thought that answer required more thought than a trite giving up of something like chocolate. I hope you daughter doesn’t suffer too much but she has a lovely heart to come to such a decision.


    • PookyH says:

      I think you’re right, pledging to do something is very meaningful.

      Oh and it’s not my daughter but that of a friend – a wonderful little girl.


  2. OnTheWay... says:

    Really like this one too!


  3. wbdeejay says:

    I think the style is spot on, as is the message.


  4. I can feel your feeling in this! Xx


  5. Mayfair Mum says:

    I love the way poems surprise us. This is great Pooky. Really thought provoking. I might have to share it somewhere…x


  6. Bile indeed! But accurate to my way of thinking.


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