The first day of Lent and Oxtail Stew

Twas the first night of lent
when all through the house
everything quiet
even lights out.
Then came a knockin’
and to the door
in my stockins’
to find dear friend and puppy
arms full of food
aren’t I lucky?
Well yes of course I am
and no I have not had
oxtail stew
but I don’t know if you knew
it is Lent Lent Lent
and I am well bent
to keep up with my vow
that I have readied for a week
up until now.
And out comes the cow
how now
shall I keep a vow?

You look quite pale
and even if I do say,
a bit frail
now is not the time
to fast
but feast
we’ll have a blast.
Out comes the wine
and in no time
I have let go my plan
best laid of rice and women
to partake of the very thing
for which I had heard the choir
sing
of what not to do.
Weak in the body
while not in the heart
I knew
I blew
it.
Onto the phone we rang
my husband at work
and into the line she sang:
I am feeding your wife
she is in need of
new life
and when you get here
we will have some
bright cheer!
Not my intention to lead you astray, dear,
not today or any day
but could you start Lent another day?

God loves you anyway,
and so do I. And I am here.

(Should I mention the friend,
true til then end,
did spend her last penny
to make sure we had plenty?)

and so it went
on the first day of Lent

the puppy lick lick
the wine sip sip
the stove click click
I said, oh God forgive my slip slip
into the stew bowl
dip dip
for the best steaming bowl of stew
ever a girl knew

but I have found it hard to recover
as many a wayward have discovered

from oxtail stew on day one of the fast
and holding true to the promise
that my vow would last
and so I take it day by day
doing what I can to work
and to play
and to pray
and since have decided

of all the things not to do
do not to start Lent again
with oxtail stew….

And still I feel truly,
for reasons reason won’t explain
I did need the stew
so I dare not complain.

It was like a spiritual glue
that brought into mind
what other Lenten’s knew
to do Lent is not about deprivation
or about guilt or about what to do and not do

but about the promise of resurrection

and I know for sure

no matter what I have eaten
or how well I endure
my Lord will meet me every day
and bless my heart

when I kneel to pray
it is for us – that Lent is Lent

for us a gift of awareness
heaven sent
it is in the heart of
bright sadness

and observance of this fast
at whatever level we can create
regardless of the Lenten date
that bright gladness will rise

at last

at last

at last

(Thank you B and R for the wonderful stew which has provided a poetic reference point on which to spin a foiled Lenten tale. I love you. Thank you for the Lenten stew!)

making it work