All who do what they must,
Following codes and expectations
Not their own, fearing shame or
Fleeing derision, a parent’s
Disappointment, the stigma of
Unemployment, the derision of
The few they call friends:
Father, forgive.

All who live in times
When some truths ought remain
Unspoken, some powers never
Seriously confronted, when some
Sins can never be forgiven, some
People perpetually unwanted, when
Charity must only be part of life:
Father, forgive.

All whose running terror
Blinds them, tunnel-vision,
To the possibility, the potential, in
This problem, this person, this need,
(Embarrassing, threatening vulnerability)
In their path, this trip-hazard of
A past, a grief, a remorse, a question:
Father, forgive.

All whose fumbling, stumbling
Blindness tramples, excludes,
Abandons, scares, crucifies afresh
Some peeking-out fragile chance of
Goodness in pain, beauty in brokenness,
The very door to paradise,
To communion, to Love:
Father, forgive.

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