I watch you fall short again,
Thinking you’ve made a mess of perfection,
Beating your mind
Until your roots turn purple,

But relief doesn’t come
By that way.

Long for a firm
Bear hug,
A forehead against forehead,
Deep cry—

Soul wounds need
More than a Band-Aid.

If I stopped and called on Grace,
Will angels catch me,

Or will I be crushed by the weight
Of my mistakes,

Will I just be cut down?

Weary of standing,
“Help,” totters on the edge
And tears push it out.

I plummet.

A burst of doves,
A steady breath blowing,
Many hands lifting him
To the chest of God.

Who told you to be so rigid?

Children gathering broken branches,
Nests being formed,
A watering hose rolled out,
Cool aloe on cracked skin—

Compassion: the kind teacher
Who made you,
Will be your father
Until the end.

No more self-affliction.

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