Ash Wednesday and the Season


Day of ashes

Reminding us who we are

We are ashes animated,

Which means there’s more:

Bone, sinew, organs

Inside (protected)

Blood coursing through all

An ocean’s molecules

Navigating life

Between the shoals


Ashes and water


The additives made holy substances

As well

We come to wine

The liquid and the metaphor

We still must commune

Even in a season of reflection

Many gaze upon the surface

No one throws a stone

Our sacraments are quieter for a time

We sleep

We wake into a cloudless day

With shadows only of our making

A cross, an x

A smudge

You’re got dirt on your forehead

Yes, and underneath

It is adama

For each one of us

There is no Jew or Greek

Some welcome the silence

Some will fidget

Most of us stand in between

Time to think on it and feel it through

The water of the heart

We should sheath our weapons for a time

Let them rust a bit

Every one on all sides of

The many-hedroned Earth


Let us call a truce for forty days

There is a promise that God’s rain will not

Destroy all people

There might be treachery,

I know

But what is better than to trust a little

In a season’s time for knowing

Everything anew

In an unshadowed light

Perfect gray

For seeing enough detail

Withholding judgment for not knowing

The rest


A time of trying in all ways

Our gray season has begun

Drink in and taste it differently

Our servers are mortality


C L Couch



Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay