To be a saint you have to give things up
And hug an absence like a worldly soul
Clings to a lover when the act of love
Spasms its life away in ecstasy.
To saints, this life is only worth our living
If we can give a thing away or up.
The world must be renounced, like tigers must
Renounce the jungle when they meet the cage
Or men renounce their bachelorhood for marriage.
A nature civilized, a freedom tossed
Aside, a luxury given away
So that its lack will cast a greater shadow
That presence ever did, and like a sign,
Point the location of the effort that
It takes to live without it, in the name
Of an idea of grace, which says that man
Cannot stand taller than himself unless
He cuts his own legs off beneath the knees.
Copyright 2008 Matthew J Wells