Longing for Mercy (a poem)

It’s interesting to be so brazen as

to think that you understand forgiveness.

You may grant it to others.  You may think you know

something, in the granting of it.

And then,  it is only then

after that when you fail miserably.

It is almost beyond your own ability to comprehend.

You, as only   you   can, call from within your mind and heart the unguarded, profoundly wrong words.

The anger is historic, visceral, blood-thirsty and full of hate.

It comes writhing out of you, out of your mouth and in that moment

even as you don’t honestly care who you hurt, you know what has been said

cannot be undone.  You said it.  It is done.

Never mind that she was your equal. Equally vicious and also her father’s child.  Cruel and unkind.

Still, the pain you provoked cannot be undone and for a moment it is clear

you’re finished.

Thoughts  crowd in : “I never said…” “I didn’t mean…” The feeling of worthlessness threaten to overwhelm.

You are spent. You must face the truth.

Do you seek forgiveness? Or do you wait and wait it out?

No   time    stretches    longer

than the lingering, the waiting for grace, gentle and undeserved. Fear looms

as your heart pounds in your chest. Days are spent hoping.  It is no trifling thing, this longing for mercy.

And so you submit to the marking of time and wait,

wanting to believe

in forgiveness. It is undeserved but will be welcome.

April 2, 2010
Melody Harrison Hanson
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