Friday after Ash Wednesday
Lent is the fast-food shop
in the city of God.
It is like some chain store cowboy
riding the circuit of Spring,
thundering out of the sunset
sack cloth and ashes
blazing in the glory of God.
Lent is a monster on the rampage
through the soft whiteness of Winter;
it is muddy footsteps
across dead gray hearts.
The dead skin of winter is pealed away
the thick blood boils in the heat of expectation
and we sit huddled
against the crosswinds of nature itself.
"Deal your bread to the hungry"
cries Isaiah in the wilderness of the Bible
in God's biggest gamble yet
trying to out-bluff his own children.
It is all fixed
rebirth waits for us
somewhere down the line.
It is in the cards
it is kept warm in Lent's fast-food shops
still with the smell of ashes
it burns with the heat that once smoldered
in the heart of everlasting man
and smoldering long
light in the darkness.
The spark jumps across
the distance of our hopes
burning against the all-enveloping backdrop
of Winter's long blackness
that even now is finishing its sweep
across the great northern plains of history.
The dry wind of Winter
stirs in our souls
to meet the raw wind of Spring.
You and I wait
grab quick hamburgers
in the outposts of history.
We are on the front lines now
there is no time
for glories past
or dreamings future.