When I was young, fasting meant
PBJ or grilled cheese at lunch,
creamed tuna or fish sticks for dinner
on our meatless Lenten Fridays.
The priests and nuns said God
willed us to change up the menu,
but never explained why, just that
once it was complete we earned our
Easter candy and a week of ham.
Now you tell me you’re forcing
a spiritual, a physical hunger
upon yourself, because you long
for some abstraction, an ideal,
not something tangible like
a Coney Island hotdog
or carne asada burrito.
Maybe if I knew how hunger
would bring about “better,”
I’d understand how this sacrifice
of gustatory satisfaction works.
Will you recognize it on
your tongue when your sacrifice
brings the fabulous prize you seek?
When your fast for a greater good
is finally sated, when the world’s
bêtes noires negated, could you
please tell me one more thing?
Peace, does it taste like
– Joseph Hesch
© 2015, poem, Joseph Hesch, All rights reserved