Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 1 , July 2015


Poem for Ash Wednesday

Tracy Ryan

  How his thumb smudged it on
  like marking a page
  for later reading
  exactly the way
  the checkout man
  licks & swipes to open
  a bag that won’t cooperate
  when the queue’s endless
  —so many penitents!
  He was teaching a posture
  a mode of carriage
  to fix it there
  only the smoothest
  uncreased brow
  could bear witness
  What you are and
  where you’re going
  you will remember