Counting Words and Days: For Ash Wednesday

Because we’ve loaded even our song with so much music that it’s slowly sinking 
and we’ve decorated our art so much that its features have been eaten away by gold 
and it’s time to say our few words because tomorrow our soul sets sail.
(Giorgos Seferis, “An Old Man on the River Bank”)

I should have let my words be few,
yet I dressed them up, swelling,
until they could not fit in the door.

You know the score:
hardest words are easiest for yelling,
hardest by far to live as true.

What, then, for me, for You?
Your glorious silence is the most compelling.
The grandest truths that I ignore

are found in Your richest store.
Days are short. Life’s noise is telling.
Take ash, take silence. Take You.

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