Variation on a theme by Benjamin Myers

The congregants file in long lines of two,
Ants carrying their burdens forward,
Setting them down to rest on holy ground.
Let this mother, forehead folds creased flat
For her prodigal son, receive the elements.
Let this grandfather of no one, staggering
From the weight of heavy drink and loneliness,
Receive the elements.
Let this daughter also, red-faced and pregnant,
Stealing silently into line behind the others,
Receive the elements.
Let every one who comes to the altar
Let even me, blood trailing as I
Limp forward, undeserving,
The wind outside the stained glass
Hurls its repeated accusations,
But the sun still showers us with a
Kaleidoscope of grace.
There are, too, the words of Christ,
Saying, “Your faith has made you whole,”
Which, I am realizing now,
We are all slowly learning.