Two ragged lines, weary
flesh, inch
toward the altar, hands folded
in unaccustomed quiet.

With each step, we
chant, remembering
we are tree limbs swept
along the river’s sheen,

dust layers lying on
the closed window’s sill.
Tears well
from my wrinkled eyes.

I weep
for the grief concealed
in each person around me,
but also for you

and me, how we lose each other
in self-made misery,
as these dark ashes smeared

across our foreheads, there
for others to see, as if
they didn’t already know us
to be transient, broken, human.

“Ash Wednesday” is from the book Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn by Daniel Thomas.

To purchase or just learn more about the book, follow this link: Leaving the Base Camp at Dawn.

One thought on “ASH  WEDNESDAY

  1. Beautiful words, both Dan’s and yours. Thanks for this, Nancy. So nice to think of you both and appreciate the spirit and love you both bring to your work!


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