The Friday Fast: God remembers that we are dust

An occasional series for Lent 2022

God remembers that we are dust

On street corners, cats scavenge for scraps
deep within the angles of the shadows;
dust and debris fallen from the high-carried
baskets of bread and meat; the fruit
they could take or leave; the herbs,
relics of another time and place
where the sun shone and the city
opened its gates to devour its light,
intoxicate them.

A little lower than angels, we
carry the baskets high, but we
are not the acme of this trickle-down economy;
shedding our dust and ashes,
knees and ankles buckled by 
our own cobblestones, the ways
of our own making; we grow
like weeds among the dirt, shallow-rooted,
subject to drought,

Yet God remembers us.
God remembers that we are but dust
and the ashes of last year’s plans;
God remembers how once we blossomed
with hope and love; even so
God sweeps together the dust and ashes,
anoints them with a little oil from the marketplace,
daubs the walls while the world sleeps:
Remember, and return.

This poem is also found at the Episcopal Cafe

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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