by Peter Huggins

I’m going to give up grief
For Lent. 
Chocolate can stay.
So can wine and spirits.
They don’t haunt me, 
They don’t run my life, 
don’t dominate it.

I’m going to give up sorrow
For Lent. 
The loss of you,
The loss of all the yous
Throughout my life
I don’t want to forget any of them.

I’m going to give up sadness
For Lent.
Sadness—a stone
That rolls over me,
That grinds me
Like stone on stone.

With no hope of release.
I’m going to give up
Grief, sorrow, and sadness,
I’m going to leave them all
I’m choosing joy.

Peter Huggins is the author of seven books of poems, including the forthcoming Small Mercies. He has also published three books of fiction for children; Trosclair and the Alligator appeared on the PBS show Between the Lions. A recipient of a Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, he taught for thirty-one years in the English Department at Auburn University.

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