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Raymond A. Foss Poems
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The Smoke, the Ashes by Raymond A. Foss

Ashes on my fingers, on my skin,
the smoke, filling my lungs
the moment, the power, of the sacrifice
these days of Lent, beginning today
more awesome, greater clarity
now, today, having burned the palms
having broken those which were held in hope
in reverence, for the coming of the king
triumphant into his city
Burned for the ashes of this season
remembering, maybe more than ever,
understanding this offering, burned for me
his life to ashes, to dust
the breath taken away,
heavy in my nostrils, in my lungs
made real in a whole new way
this day, of remembrance
beginning the forty day journey
leading through your ministry,
your faith, your gift of grace
your suffering, your death,
back to the earth
But, oh to your rising,
my risen brother, my savior, my Lord

February 25, 2009
Ash Wednesday
burning the palms, making the ashes
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