Ash Wednesday

by Todd Matson

on ash wednesday
after worship
after the ashes were
spread on her head
on her whitebread head
spread on her face
on her milky white face
the snowy white lady
dressed in vanilla
from head to toe
asked the pastor
whose ashes they were
presuming the ashes
must indeed have come
from the cremated remains
of someone
and the pastor
at a loss for words
with which to answer
a question as morbid
as conspicuous as this
told her, no one...
the ashes came from
no one...
but hindsight is hell
on the eyes
and you know what
he would say to her
had she not died?
had he had it
to say to her
over again?
a black man...
the ashes came from
a black man...

Ash Wednesday by Todd Matson

© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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