Ash Wednesday

The ash and the Cross

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

(Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)


Strip me of all
but the mark,

thumb crossing
on forehead,

that I might
let mingle

my spiraling soot
with His blessing

ashed. The burned
arm of palm

once so green
now tendered

of want

joins as one
the wind-tunneled trail

from which I came
and the long road

down which I travel
invoking darkness

seeking light:
I'm listening.

(A Prayer for Ash Wednesday, by Maureen Doallas)