Stain

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. –Isaiah 1:18

We grabbed hold of goggled Howard as he
Ran home to his mother. His thin, gangly
Limbs were easy to pin and we kicked him
Down in the blue snow one afternoon in
An untrod field, far from help. He didn’t see
Us. We beat him till he pissed himself. We
Packed his lenses with hard handfuls of ice—
Left him blinded with snow, washed by the white.
I recall blood, pupil black blots staining
The soft powder, and his face, still straining
To see me through tears, through muffled cries—whys.
Rage, oh rage, how you scar us, and baptize.
And now, watching my son cut through that same
Blank page, my blurring scratches down Howard’s name.

 

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Although Ms. McCorvey was the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, she later became a pro-life activist.
Deciding whether or not to #deleteUber or to boycott Ivanka is a luxury most Americans cannot afford.
The EditorsFebruary 17, 2017
The love and healing to be found in prayer and meditation are available to all.
Nathan SchneiderFebruary 17, 2017
Summit participants learned about mental health awareness, suicide prevention and pastoral wellness.
Wyatt MasseyFebruary 17, 2017