This year I do not so much
give up my temptations as
face the temptation to give up.
Perhaps it was so for the forty desert days
when stone may have seemed
a fair alternative to bread.
Yet stones, when given the chance,
can become a chorus of praise.
So this year I teach stone:
the stone of a heart that says,
“Don’t move me. I’m basking in the sun”;
the stone of fists refusing to open;
the stone of expectation:
“Here I dwell; here I remain”;
the stone that says, “Do not carve your laws in me.”
Can I give up stone?
Better, give up being stone?
Or in surrender change stone into flesh?
I learn again my ABCs.
In the desert, again, I learn to walk;
and then I learn to kneel.