Friday, February 20, 2015

Poetry Friday, Ash Wednesday

A friend posted this on Facebook for Ash Wednesday this past week.  It was appropriate for the strange week I had.  We had the week off for Carnival, and then early Tuesday morning there was a horrible accident that resulted in the rest of the festivities being cancelled.  Instead of celebration, the government called for three days of mourning for the sixteen who died.  Yesterday, I spent the day with pregnant women, observing prenatal care, teaching on breastfeeding - thinking about beginnings.  And of course, through the whole week, I watched the international news, horrified by brutality and suffering.  "This day - like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received."  Yes, every day is unpredictable, often overwhelming.  We are marked by ashes, and yet there is also hope. 

Marked by Ashes
by Walter Brueggemann

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

Today's roundup is at TeacherDance.

6 comments:

jama said...

Sorry to hear about that accident!

I did like the poem, though, a reminder to live in the moment, express gratitude, and never lose hope. It's hard to listen to the news, isn't it?

LInda Baie said...

Oh Ruth, I'm sorry about this terrible tragedy, and did not hear of it before. Your poem is supportive of those who are grieving, and hopeful too. Best wishes to you and your family and community.

Tara Smith said...

What a horrible event - I can see why this poem resonates with you, Ruth.

Doraine Bennett said...

I so love this poem and the way he makes Easter into a verb. We all need to be Eastered. Thank you for all you do. Blessings to you.

Linda said...

So sad about the accident. As Jama said,the poem is a reminder to live in the moment. Thanks for sharing it.

Mary Lee said...

Life is so full of beginnings and endings. It is important to slow down, notice, focus on hope.