Shrift

I march solemnly
Jittery eyes take notice
Of the guilty man
They look equally guilty
The route seems shorter
I get there way too quickly
I kneel and I hope
To remain undetected
Something clicks open
An old man’s voice issues forth
And I do the sign
The words pour out then I pause
Trying to recall
A day from a year ago
Then comes the torrent
I start with the vilest faults
The cringeworthy ones
Man I hope he’s not a cop
A nosy neighbor
Or my eternal rival!
My voice is straining
When I reveal the ugly
Man I feel dirty!
The guilt partners up with shame
All too familiar
Mistakes I should have outgrown
I falter a bit
He has heard this all before
My litany slows
I scour my mind for mistakes
’til there are no more
I tell the man that I’m done
And I wait for it
The vehement tongue-lashing
He has none for me
Save for several prayers
Then I do the sign
I stand feeling much lighter
Then move to pray more
As another takes my place
My chest swells a bit
As if I’m filled with Easter

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