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On Forgetting Ash Wednesday

Between the harvesting and sowing:
the stubble burn. Embers recycled

from a dying fire; the promising scent
of charred straw. Cinders inextinguishable

as newfound desire. The calendar plan
that out of the slag a new upright row

might spring: Lazarus flowers, roses
of Jericho. All this to call me home.

As if to dress me in a penitent’s
sackcloth, when for decades –

even now – I would have come
on my knees: a girl in love with

high relief; stained-glass mysteries;
the lightness and the weight

of your hanging figure; the promise of one
love and end of days. Who else could have

sown, then seeded, this divide? Who else left
this shadowy thumb print between my eyes?


Copyright © 2020  M. B. McLatchey. All rights reserved.
Published in Iris Literary Journal.

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