Patrick Biggs:If Only . . .

If only I could feign belief in God,
I think that I would like to be a monk,
Garbed in a hooded robe, my feet unshod,
Disdaining worldly things as worldly junk.

There’s much to recommend a lonely cell,
A stack of books to study with sedulity,
Monastic silence working to dispel
The common human penchant for garrulity.

Though sex from time to time would be preferred,
There is, of course, a motive to stay celibate:
No children, who, from everything I’ve heard,
Are liable to put a soul through hell a bit.

As life’s vicissitudes have made me tired,
I'd like a routine balanced and habitual.
There’d be no grief in being self-pariahed—
I long to take my solemn vows and quit you all.

A satisfying life I’d surely lead,
From now until I'm laid beneath the sod,
If only I could hold a doubtful creed,
If only I could feign belief in God.