A pitcher of restraint stands alone,
Abandoned in its pathetic lessening,
For no one partakes of its pungent bequest.

But then a rebel steps up and pours a cup of bitterness
From within the bowels of the carafe
And raising it to his parched and wounded lips, he pauses.
There, only inches away, lay death,
Caressing his cheek with the tormenting wiles of delight.

Oh to choose between the two.
The moderation dripping down the spout
Like so much condensation is such a taste of sacrifice.
Yet the teaspoon of fear scooped from the plate of delight
Savors so pleasing in comparison.

Will he drink of humility
Or eat of delightful gratification
Regardless of its anonymity?
Does the dissenter choose the coarse and uneven path
Or the way of comfort and indulgence?

Closing tight his eyes, he breathes in the vapor of hardship
And permits the melee to overtake him.
He has elected not his own desires
But those requisites of others whom remain unfamiliar to him.

And as the acerbic remedy flows over his anguished taste buds,
He willingly suffers temperance and abstinence;
He is altered and is a consummate man for it.

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