Ash Wednesday

 
 I often cross myself in worship
 especially when the bread and wine of Christ 
 are re-membered in me.
 The gesture is an affirmation of who I am
 and whom I follow.
  
 Today the cross is smudged on my face
 for all to see how poorly I reflect
 his cross I claim as my own.
 It is out of focus,
 lacking the crisp outline even a shadow can cast.
  
 My feeble attempts at following in his way
 make my cross indistinct. 
 And so I turn again,
 accept the invitation to come closer, slowly,
 to the cross made dim by distance
 until its texture and detail draw me in,
 fill my vision, and define me.   

How Time Works

This poem came to me as I as cleaning the guest room, after Christmas and the pleasure of hosting family from far away. We took a calculated risk with COVID, since several of us had already had the virus.

  They have vacated the room where I make the bed, unhurried,
 unwilling to disturb their presence that lingers in the quiet.
 They slept beneath the quilt my mother made.
 My child-adult and her husband,
 the soul mate and lover she awaited,
 yearning for the one who yearned for her
 while the patchwork of her life came together.
  
 Granddaughter of a stitcher of longings,
 a practical woman of vision, and prayer.
  
 Daughter of the one who watched the pattern come together
 and now makes the bed again,
 runs her hand over the
 storied, precious handiwork,
 in lambent, loving benediction.