Ash Wednesday

I stood inside
a majestic cathedral
in the heart of Chicago.
The sun broke away
from the clouds
and the stain glass windows
of saints and martyrs gleamed.
The place was pack
with office workers,
mothers with children,
old people, young people
the homeless, the lost,
the dignitaries and hypocrites.
I stood among them,
the choir sang Ave Maria
before silence
greeted the Cardinal
as he limped towards
the marble podium,
he stretched his arms out
and we listened
to the Cardinal
proclaim without hesitation
what we wanted to forget
but he said it anyway,
'We will all be dead
in the next 70 years, '
A small child about four
turned to his mother
and said, 'not me '
still ashes to ashes
we will become
if not within 70 years
than maybe in 71…

by Charles Lara

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