Shame

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The child sang free

in early years of

fading radiance until

she learned of ashes

and drear of inner substance.

This is the great satan we call the

use of shame.

We glory in

our lurching constrictions

and holy ordinances,

all for fear of life,

all for fear of life.

What is this mark we make upon

the hearts of children?

What is this shadow we cast on

minds so young that by the

time a body bears its

hungers we hardly speak of

nature’s glories?

We mark foreheads against the day

we fall out of our sandals,

all for fear of death,

all for fear of death.

And unto that day, just gray,

all for fear of life,

all for fear of death.

If the man-christ hung

bruised and bright

against the sky and

bled the world to grace then

all the marks and

all the shadows

be deemed lifted, loved from our

linen hearts and flung

instead upon the score,

the songs of children.

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