Being born Catholic is like being born cancelled I heard someone once say From your earliest days you are taught to apologize For your fallen state To beg mercy from an authority both benevolent And capable of a terrifying rage I realize now, though my faith has changed, There is wisdom in the saying To err is human, to forgive divine For as a human I have erred And forgiveness is hard to find Even from myself My life is like a bookshelf Filled with volumes, filled with stages I have lived—and how I’ve aged! 30 year old me cringes reading 20 year old me And 40 year old me will cringe reading 30 year old me And 60 year old me will cringe reading 50 year old me And 80 year old me will cringe reading 70 year old me And beyond the veil, Dead me Will cringe while reading Living me I’m sure that I’ve walked darker ways Within my mind and heart While searching for the light Than within the world at large And in another kind of life Someday, perhaps, I’ll have to pay Yet every moment, every day I shed my skin—it's a new life that I live I want to scream that I have changed And learned the value of Forgive I’m sorry for the times I’ve laughed At someone else’s cost For the judgments that I’ve passed Gone unsaid, they’re still not lost Upon my psyche—who I’ve been And who I still fight, to this day The ignorance, inherited A debt which I cannot repay Change happens from within so Looking back, it’s hard to see Who you have been in wild pursuit Of who you hoped to be Until you realize that who you are Is not yet all the you that you could be And age has made me feel For those who’ve seen the error of their ways Born ignorant of everything We’ve had to learn along the way And even in a life that’s mean Some love may be alive May find a way to grow and change Some goodness yet may thrive Separate the wheat from chaff In both ourselves and others Saint or sinner? What a laugh! We’re sisters here, and brothers Just people stumbling and faltering Though words and deeds are right or wrong No life is worth discarding For in this world we all belong So without patronizing And whether curse or blessing has befallen Me—I’ll live my life apologizing For my state of being fallen
I originally shared this over at Phoenix Fire Press on June 09, 2020.