Holy Week 2018

I have done nothing to prepare—
no self-reflection, no sacrifice,
no posturing of prayer—only
filled each day, like any other,
with the hollow fleeting tasks
of things that, once done, must
be done again: grade the papers,
buy the groceries, pay the bills,
wash the dishes, scrub the floor.
Each act a laboring toward
no other goal except completion,
a line drawn on a list. And so
I come before You with a mind
and heart distracted, cluttered,
my lamp empty of oil, the wick
untrimmed, sleeping through each
waking day. All I have to offer
is this palm frond of unworthiness,
this faith brittle and withered with
neglect. Who can declare the mighty
acts of the Lord or fully declare
his praise? No one, though perhaps
the tongue of one made dumb
by shame, carrying the stench
of offense but still desiring
to approach, poking at a heap
of ash hoping for an ember,
comes close.

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