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,

helpless,

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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