“116 Pages” by Merrijane Rice

I know how you felt, Martin,
niggled in turn by hope and fear,
longing to be part of something great
and ready to suffer or sacrifice—
yet still bartering for some guarantee.

I’ve also craved approval, respect,
a little kindness from the world.
I’ve offered mankind my evidences,
half-turned and ready to run
at first sign of smirk,

and I have failed to do
what I knew was right
because I wouldn’t relinquish
what I wanted even though
it was never mine to begin with.

So I don’t wonder at your faults
now held up as warning
to future generations of saints,
but at your persistence:

how you returned and returned
hat in hand, abashed witness
to a Father’s infinite mercy.

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