Sackcloth and Ashes

The mask is off—

the words hailed as a gentleman’s

came from the face of a killer

so hardened—or softened—

by evil

that he can sit down to eat

with treachery—

and not recognize the horror he has welcomed

in our name.


The night is black,

the skies are clear,

and our hands are red

with stains we cannot

wash away.


Far, far away

Afghans clamber

desperately for life.

And who will help them?

Today we leave them

and tomorrow they die.


And we sit here,


bent with grief,

dressed at last

in sackcloth and ashes,

crying to You, Oh LORD,

the only One

who can make things right.


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