Imposition of Ashes

Bangs held back with a blue barrette
your seven-year-old forehead has the ashes
of the cross
brought home from school.
Still wearing school jumper
blue knee socks fallen down
you leave with me for worship.
The night has turned colder
February still is dark at six-fifteen.

we enter the nave
we wait
and read
we look about:
purple paraments
adorned with thorns
and nails
a glaring change from Sunday’s whites.

You hold my hand and nestle close.
I move over to give you room.
You nestle closer and hold my hand more tightly.
Dust to dust.
Ashes to ashes.

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4 Responses to Imposition of Ashes

  1. mitchteemley says:


  2. AECRM says:

    Thank you, Mitch. I wrote it 20 years ago and just recently found it.

  3. Kathleen O Cartledge says:

    Lovely – so glad you shared this!

  4. AECRM says:

    Thank you, Kathleen. Train up a child in the way he should go. . . Proverbs speaks truth. She is a good one. Ann

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