Mercy & Grace


Bénédicte Garnier-Fihey

“Have mercy on me, O God,
        according to your steadfast love;
        according to your abundant mercy
           blot out my transgressions.
  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
        and cleanse me from my sin.
  For I know my transgressions,
        and my sin is ever before me.” ~ Psalm 51:1-3

The earth
recalls its abuse
Mercury in the soil
stays for generations
Just as a hydrangea
recalls the nails
Opa planted*

‘I am sorry!’
are among life’s
hardest words for
any man to articulate
Or the easiest for
one who knows
no remorse

The psyche
will remember
wounds incurable
from the distant past
well past forgiving
Grace asks that
we own them

 [*The amount of iron in the soil will determine
whether the hydrangea blossom is pink or blue]


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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