By Kathryn Cleven
how easily I justify my sin.
Subtle as a toddler
with cookie crumbs on their chin
Muddy shoes laced by a mislead noose
Tripping in circles
as if there’s nothing to lose
If only I were a moth,
my nature would be attracted to the light
Maybe if it were, I could aim for the Son
But honestly, I can’t.
No amount of red bull gives me wings
Or if it does, they’re those of a
I know the cliches
your parent’s parent’s parent’s say.
It’s just I’d rather go to burger king
so I can have it my way
I heard reliable sources say to stand on the edge
I mean, actually they said avoid it
But I know what they meant.
Because I know, I won’t look down
and I know I won’t start sliding
and I know I won’t fall off
…unless that’d be exciting
But enough with the metaphors
This isn’t abstract
It’s a holiness and discipline
Somehow I just lack
I watch violence, murder, theft, and sex
as if my own morality is never put to that test
Then rationalize the songs on repeat,
telling myself it’s ‘cause I like the beat
And alphabet soup letters swim together
I’ll take it spoon-fed
I don’t control what they say
Man, half the time I don’t even know
what phrases mean
Yet here I am letting a stranger’s toothbrush
keep my mouth clean.
Of course I’ll pay for entertainment
Go on and take my money
I trust myself so much
I’ll filter a pitcher of sin
Get pure water out of that
The rest, I can defend.
So then there’s a tumor in my brain
But the doctor doesn’t see
And when they find a cure for cancer
It still can’t cure me
Here I thought the road was straight
Until I looped and swerved like cursive
Maybe my intentions weren’t so great
So maybe the point is to reverse it
But then I wondered how one could get off track
if everything that happens is a part of God’s plan
And then I wondered if I even needed to turn back
if everything I did lead me to where I am
Bound to decisions.
Counting on knowledge fades away
If I’m following my feelings
I choose to never change.
The past may be past
but the future’s not green pastures
unless you’re being led
and not just by any pastor
You see, I could list a lot of do’s and don’ts.
write a novel of advice that you can take, and I won’t.
because through apathy and curiosity, I’m busy
turning numb, waiting for time to come
when I can prove that I’ve improved on my own.
But I haven’t.
I can’t do that on my own.
I try and I try and here I am full grown
thinking the same things,
like some things are about me
like I’m missing out by not living recklessly
like if I mix oil with water I’ll still come away free
like justified by faith means I can justify my “needs”
like I can’t hurt others if I choose not to see
Can’t I have both?
Lord may it never be.
Jesus save me from myself.
Jesus save me from myself.
Because acceptance of sin
just needs acceptance of Your help.
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Olivia Johnson says
Wow Kathryn, you are an amazing writer! And such truth in this poem…thank you for sharing it!
Wow! This is amazing! Thanks for sharing your work.
Kathryn Cleven says
Thanks for reading it! You two are so sweet :) That means a lot.