An End to Penitence

She had sinned
She thought she had the perfect excuse
But nonetheless sin it was
She wanted to describe her sin as scarlet
But maroon was the better description
For her sin was a red tethering on the edge of blackness
And utter darkness
Like the soot from charcoal

Forgiveness was not to come for long
So she did penance
Day and night
In joy and in pain
Hoping, praying, and with a puerile belief
That her penitence would save her
From the throes of guilt that ravaged her soul
And that made her mind a cesspool of shame

Penitence became for her a necessity for survival
So even when forgiveness came
She could not desist
Like breathing, it was second nature
A subconscious but necessary action
One that was more painful to stop than to start
And even if she wanted to stop
From where would she find the strength?

Her idea of penance was a one-person Tango
In which she would lead with no follower
And follow with no leader
She would chase without catching
And she would run but no one chased
She would come in for a close embrace
Hoping to receive a twirl or two
Only to have her hopes dashed

One day she realized
That the Tango had taken enough insult
From her insufferable desire
To right a wrong that could not be righted
She came to the full understanding
That the beauty of the Tango was in the two persons
And she had no right to distort that
Not even in an attempt to mend a broken heart
That day she swore off the one-person Tango
And thus came the end to her penitence

With love from Smithia


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