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Sandra Savage

Sandra Savage is a poet from Calgary, Alberta. She is a member of Alexandra Writers Guild and her work has been published in Freefall Magazine and Great Lakes Gazette.

Crucified, Risen, Still Wounded

                        Then shall the Priest say
Thursday, you will arrive late and with excuses.  I know this today.  Knew it
when you set our plan.  As I know, one drink after work with the guys will be out all night.
                        Ye that do truly
                                                Eucharistic call to forgive those who have harmed before and now
                                                we bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, beseech absolution
                                                through the hand of a priest
                        and earnestly
You will not call.  You will not apologize on your knees as you require of me.
You do not tolerate any intrusion on your freedom, your dominance.
                        repent you of your sins
                                                After confession, God has put away our sins
                                                as if they never were.  How does perfection
                                                forgive those who wound Him, pardon and deliver
                        and are in love
I’ll forgive your contempt but hold the hurts fresh and close to resurrect
next time.  Savour them like chocolates melting on my tongue until they fill my mouth
                        and charity
                                                mere woman who offends the Divine?
                                                Christ on the Cross, crucified
                                                as a common criminal, forgives
                        with your neighbours
until that is all that I am, overwhelming sweetness that sickens. 
I pull off the scabs from the wounds you’ll create Thursday.  I will not allow them
                        and intend to lead the new life
                                                forgives those who know not
                                                what they do.  Forgives Peter,
                                                who claims three times to know Him not.
                        following the commandments
to heal.  I’ve picked each cut you’ve inflicted until I have permanent scars.
If there is no pain, if I no longer live the intensity of this hurt, what then is there to forgive?
                        of God
                                                Forgives Thomas, who doubts until
                                                he has placed his fingers into the wounds.
                                                And I feel superior to Thomas: without seeing,
                        and walking from henceforth
Can I forgive that which I can not forget?  Can I forget that which I will not forgive?
I know, each moment that I hold the pride of my pain, the righteousness of my injury, I sin.
                        in his holy ways
                                                without touching, I believe.
                                                And I should.  By thought, word, and deed
                                                I live within those wounds
                        Draw near with faith
How to let go, to forgive and to forget?  “Through the grace of God,” my priest tells me,
“Let the Holy Spirit enter into you..”  I take my faith, what has survived the pain
                        and take this holy Sacrament
                                                keep them open,  The burden
                                                of them is intolerable, knowing
                                                I, too, who knows not
                        to your comfort
pull it around me, into me, pray, meditate, Maranatha:  Come Lord, Come Lord Jesus.
I see my priest raise his hand to grant me absolution, my move toward Jesus enough
                        and make your humble confession
                                                will be forgiven when I ask
                                                Have mercy upon us.  Each time I ask
                                                the hand will rise
                        to Almighty God
God closes the rest of the distance, forgives me.  And then I understand:  you are not
the cause.  Your disdain, I have embraced.  Inflicted my own wounds.  I forgive
                        meekly kneeling
                                                the priest will speak
                                                and I will hear
                        on you knees.
this, this allowing myself to believe you had the power.  Now, it will be only me.
And God.  His words.  Inside my head.
            YOU ARE MINE.

* All prayer passages taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, England.

Copyright ©2009 by Sandra Savage