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Sonnet of Grace

by Janet Martin

When dull and dreary fetters of broad day
Relinquish their command in blue-tongued sighs
When rudiments of failure slip away
Dissolving in vast, velvet-throated skies
Where present-tense in brief, laconic gasp
Expands the ageless crease of history
And this small day is clenched within the grasp
Of what is done and never more will be
I bow my head; for lessons still unlearned
In open-handed chances I have spurned


The spell of midnight holds a fearless mirror
And yet I'm drawn to gaze into its glass
Although reflected folly is much clearer
In the dark; than on noon-tides sun-kissed grass
I am inclined to crumble in despair
Repeated follies are a bitter lot
And in the judgment of night's onyx air
I cower 'neath the gavel of my thought
But then I bow my head; tears cleanse my face
I have no need to dread, because of grace


Of grand and glorious offering, I have none
And to disguise my empty-handed shame
Is but to multiply and thus condone
My heedlessness for which I bear all blame
The accusations which distress the dark
Would rule in favor of the plaintiff's cry
But wait; the spell of midnight light's a spark
A glimpse of hope pierces the dark-robed sky
I bow my head in trite, penitent prayer
God's grace revokes my sentence of despair

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