A Story of Forgiveness

Jul 30, 2021

A dream became clear

in sleep last night;

my mind drew near

to a fearful sight.


Standing in stillness,

surrounded by graves,

to a man in the distance

my vision gave way.


He approached with concern

that I might fleet;

his eyes did yearn

for an approving greet.


I did not recognize

this cautious figure,

for his face was disguised;

his sound a whimper.


Familiar fear arose

inside my chest;

guarded feet repose

to the dirt-filled crest.


He cocked his head,

longing for the taste

of words never said

and by death misplaced.


Ten steps now between

this darkened man and I;

to stone jurors that lean

he begins to testify.


Do you know who I am?

He began to say.

I have been eternally damned

for the heart I did splay.


He would not look

at my inquisitive gaze;

it was in stone that took

his tear-stained haze.


I do not know you,

so why am I here?

In slumber, I flew

to this barren sphere.


I need your help

to find my way,

for where I’m held

I can no longer stay.


Why do you linger

in this stoned field;

your hands are splintered

by the ground, you’ve tilled.


These hands do ache

from the dirt I’ve churned;

this yard holds the stake

in what I must return.


How can I help relieve

this painful labor?

Why do you grieve

and desire my favor?


He handed me a shovel,

yet refused to use one;

his bloodied hands did grovel

as to the task, he begun.


He dug down deep

into the dark earth;

blackened fingers did seep,

then thrusting up reemerged.


A clean box he held;

the mud falling away.

His confinement withheld

he stepped closer to say…


This box does keep

that which was stolen;

I will once again sleep

if you accept this token.


Why do you give

this buried gift to me?

Why am I to forgive

what inside I will see?


It was from you

this was taken once long ago;

I long to renew

what has caused you such woe.


I unlatched the box

and pulled open its lid;

my aching heart dropped

for what inside was hid.


It held my sight

which immediately became clear;

awakening from night,

this man’s face did peer.


His face was hollowed

and stricken with grief;

hands muddied by the shadow

of purity’s thief.


Words so longed for

appeared in his want;

the weight of abhor

begins releasing its haunt.


The box is vacant,

for I have nothing to give;

it simply holds the forsaken –

the emptiness you were left with.


I wish I could return

a gift which was filled;

I know that you yearn

for innocence’s seal.


A man that from me stole

inflicting pain now relived,

standing here on this knoll,

begs of me to forgive.


Yet the hate once claimed

by the dirt in his hands

relinquishes all blame

from an abused heart’s command.


In my forgiveness, his reach

remained blackened by earth,

so clarity I beseeched

why they not be unearthed.


Although, they will remain

stained by some clay;

freed from unspoken pain,

please, rest on this day.


From the box I held,

echoed his departing plea;

by simply giving back the withheld

I realized it was forgiveness –

who had been speaking to me.

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