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Ekphrastic from a Sunday School Manual

July 20, 2013

I’ve seen those pleading, penitent hands before

Face buried before the wooden Bishop’s desk.

A tweed jacket reaches out over the sinner

And only good sense convinces me he will not strike,

But comfort him.

He is frozen for time and eternity

No motion in those rescuing hands—

Rather the stillness of a photo op,

Or of one balking over that question:

Am I God that I may forgive these sins,

Am I God that I may create them?


Say God—Judge of Israel—say God

And tell His will.

Only know that Godly sorrow is

God’s kind of sorrow

And Endless is His name.

See the child—

Whether hell is before his eyes

Or in those clean, clasping hands.

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