A Fast

A Fast

Written on 02/27/2020
Rachel Weisbrot

Written by Rachel Weisbrot

Angry hunger gnaws its way 
Through the absent meals,
Growling like a beast of prey,
Digging in its heels, 
Weakening its cage of flesh, 
Thinking all is vain,
Loathing tales of sackcloth, ash,
Old Testament refrain, 
Salivating in distress,
Frantic to be fed,
Consuming only emptiness,
And wishing it were dead. 
Crying out both day and night
It howls a starved lament—
Till on day three gives up the fight
And readies to repent. 
Then hunger, quieted, subdued,
Submissive, freed from strife,
Tastes and sees a better food,
A bread of full, new life. 
No more enslaved to carnal need,
Now yearns for things above,
On holy mysteries to feed, 
On grace, on truth, on love.
Now learns to thirst for righteous milk
And honey-tasting nectar,
Craving to be of Christ’s ilk,
Desiring faith’s perfector,
Preparing for the heavenly feast,
Communing with its Lord:
The first desire made least,
Relationship restored.