Wednesday, February 26, 2020


My parents sent me to Catholic school
so I could “learn discipline.”
What they meant was,
I would learn to be quiet,
behave in church,
do my homework,
not act up,
not talk back.
But what I failed to learn
was a daily discipline.
Instead, I roll over
onto my side and
hit snooze
for the fifth time
because I want to see
how my dream,
rudely interrupted,
plays out.
My resolve crumbles
in front of the candy bar display
at the cash register.
I see the vibrant red lipstick
or the new t-shirt
or the best-selling paperback,
and I figure,
what’s ten, twenty bucks?
I keep buying the reusable cup,
the cloth tote bag,
to save the world!
Then I forget them at home
and return with even more plastic,
and I think with regret
of the choking turtles
and strangled seabirds.
I rue my laziness
and shame my spendthrift ways.
Because although maybe I didn’t
learn discipline at Catholic school,
I sure did master guilt.

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