Just give an inch and she will take a yard.
Isn’t that a line they used for all
of us before we got our fancies jarred?
Today in mid-life dullness I recall
the phrase and feel it twist about on me:
Whatever I give up is not enough –
tobacco, sleeping in or lethargy –
excess in anything is too much stuff.

Deprive myself of something and the lord
of self-esteem requires sacrifice
of even more, and yet the sweet reward
of feeling good is more than worth the price.
Indulgences I had were never owned
by me, but to my youth were only loaned.

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