Ash Wednesday

I’m ready this year, God.
This life of dust is
already dry and
this heart
already rent
and humbled.
Spare me the rituals,
the soul-startling trumpets
and the stern finger;
only draw near
in mercy and
love these
Show me
how to love
the ashes too,
confident that the
ember from which they
were shed still burns bright,
still glows with holy fire,
still throws off sparks
onto the dust until
until even these
mere ashes

~ Rachel G. Hackenberg

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