Psalm To Ashes

By Josephine

(remember you are dust)

The tender scrape
of a sooty finger, marking me
the way another did, once
with oil, scented with the spice
of new life.

Gray smudges of the sort
my mother scrubbed clean,
until I discovered her worn
thumb stained with the ash
of life.

Feel it, that outer sign
of inner grace: the sacrament
of dirt, that rains into
my eyelashes and settles on
my lips.

(and to dust)

All the world has come
from where all the world
is rushing. But between
we are asked to remember
and to feel.

In a sooty finger the
gentle, powerful hand
of She who bore us and
makes us new out of
the dust.

(you shall return)

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