POETRY: Letter To Saint Francis, by Abigail Carroll

When you broke with the world, you gave up jerkins and boots
(Italian leather, no less),

the title to your name. In light of your example, I hereby forsake
(not wanting to duplicate)

the paisley, polarized shades I have wanted to buy for some months
(now on sale at Rite Aid),

plans for a new voile spread and matching shams—you see, my room
(unaltered in years),

is begging for a complete re-do. In addition, I forthwith happily resign
(and with only a little shame)

my ignorance of bird songs, apathy toward insects, and above all else
(no simple task)

my solemn right to complain—about weather, fractures, vacuuming,
(the Lord gives)

or the sudden need for new axels, a change of plans, someone to love
(the Lord takes away)

I’d also like to swear off phones, hornets, gas stations, the news
(and, while I’m at it)

the banality of prose. When it comes to relinquishing clothes, I can
(most definitely)

do without nylons and heels, and that black bridesmaid shawl I prized
(but never wore),

which has hung in my closet for years. Abandoning these worldly goods
(I sincerely trust)

will also mean the giving up of dust in all its forms: dandruff, worry, shame,
(bathtub residues)—

In truth, Francis, there are many things I’d like to lose.

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