“As”

A pebble in our shoes, that little word:
“Forgive us our sins as …”
“as we forgive those who forgive us.”

As we forget? No,
of course not. And yet
I do remember. And remembering
I hurt anew, wincing. And wincing
I stumble, just a bit,
just enough, to bump you,
but it feels like a lurch, touching
the tender flesh around your heart.
And so you recoil, leaning
on the memories I’ve kicked
into the tiny recesses
of your own shoes
of your own journey, and
it too hurts.

Can you forgive me,
as … ?
When I do not quite forgive you
as
you have forgiven me?
Or not? As?

* * *

A trickle on tired feet, that little word:
“As a deer longs for flowing streams …

But tears as food?

This remembering, this
trickle of longing, winces
too. Too like
the brace of mountain stream,
slapping those tired feet
with icy cold,
the price of fierce hope
flowing across memories.

As they say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”

As I pour out my soul.

As hope does brace,
does brace indeed.

Gerald W. Schlabach
July 2014

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