Prayer in a Laundromat

We are the brief shadows
that fall across your face Lord
in your light
look at us pray not too harshly
let us stay with you a moment
before night—

and when we come for your mercy
when our shadows turn a moment into clay
and we are weighed—our deeds of clemency
our offences against that which made us stir in day—
do not assay us too harshly
that were ever more tin than gold—
let Lord your memory of that hour
we stayed with you in your shadow
cancel out our fall

and when our flesh is levied
let that sin not be espied
that makes nine parts of our weight
let your light—which is as nothing
but the whole—weigh more than our poor dust.

Yours in the remainder of your memory—faint
impressions of your hopes and strivings of the clay
you left half turned on earth
a memory of what could have been flesh, but turned to air.

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