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 look about:
adorned with thorns
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.