Grant My Spirit – a poem

This best line in this whole thing is “Ego te absolvo, kid.” I’m obsessed with it and putting it here so I never forget it.

Grant My Spirit — by Alice Romano

Falling into sleep,
or rising out of dreams,
we are often in the company
of people we have hurt…
thoughtless cruelties.
Kindnesses omitted.
(We know.)
And maybe if we’re alone
we shout at that company
of conscience, “Forgive me!”
Yet, no one ever reaches
back through time to say,
“Sure, it’s okay. Ego te
absolvo, kid.” And so,
self-recrimination becomes
a fruitless habit, becomes
its bitter comfort.

Listen: if we could have
God’s forgiveness
we would know we are forgiven.
The fruitless merry-go-round abandoned —

if we could ask
God’s forgiveness.

And there’s the rub.
To taste the wafer and the wine
(as when we love a tiny child)
to be transformed by
Christ’s own loving sacrifice
asks more daring
than I, for one, can find.
Help my unbelief,
that I may abandon myself
to the bold command:

Love and do not fear.
God is forgiveness.

Alice Romano: I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, board member of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, returnee from the foreign land of Los Angeles to the Christ Church of my confirmation a thousand years ago.  In Los Angeles, I curated four books of poems of the spirit developed in workshops with fellow parishioners. Gauntlet!

Published in the Christ Church Bronxville Lenten Reflections


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