Not chocolate or ice cream or meat,
not alcohol or cigarettes or cussing,
none of these.
It seems I have given up sleep for Lent.
Or, at least it has given up on me.
The recipe used to be easily created:
lay on side, rest head on pillow,
close eyes, drift off.
I still follow the same steps
but with different results,
or no results at all.
The silky blanket of dreams
that neatly tucked under my chin
has frayed to one silver strand.
Teasingly it caresses my cheek
yet when I try to hold on,
my hand comes back empty.
I am left with swirling thoughts:
while heat from my internal furnace
steams out my skin.
Sometimes after the intensity subsides
and I lay just right,
I can feel sleep snuggle up against me.
But skittish as she is,
the slightest disruption
sends her running.
So, this Lent,
although not my choosing,
sleep is my sacrifice.
I will wait with hope,
not for the resurrection,
but for a long rest in a cool, dark cave.