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In Truth


i bought a prayer rug in old Andalusia
but the years have not treated it well,
it lives now only to shame me

its pattern is faded, its edges are tattered
and the fibres are torn flesh from bone,
it breathes on, but only so to shame me

i have wept on that rug, bled on that rug
loved on that rug and died on that rug
i have worn holes through it from kneeling,
its suffering continues to shame me

first woven of silk, then from cotton
and finally from sound and rhythm
its woop is of hope but its woof is of weeping
its beauty is perfect, never waning,
but still it lives on just to shame me

so what am i?

i am ground, i am sky, i am ache, i am why
i am everything and all and nothing;
i am pride, i am breath, i am lift, i am heft
i am broken
because this simple, small thing, so itself
so patient
taunts on
and continues to shame me

by John Etheridge

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