I. Contritio

I cast my eyes upon the stones and cry
more tears than there are stones to stop their fall.
The ground below the stones is parched and dry;
my tears are barren moisture, none at all.
Each stone, a backward step or some neglect,
now makes each step I take a harsh reprise.
But with no cause to be so circumspect
I drop and crawl upon my hands and knees.
This road stretched out before me is so long;
I only ask the strength to reach its end.
This road, a monument to every wrong
I caused to one who loves me, calls me friend.
A wretched man of guilt, I have a name;
my demons call it gladly. It is Shame.

II. Confessio

Forgive me, I have sinned: but this you know,
recipient of stones once in my hands.
I picked each one with care, designed to throw
by my design, my action and command.
I knew that each would bruise, would hurt, would break:
your skin, your bones, your precious tender heart.
O god! I knew the damage you would take,
and how your soul would rend and tear apart.
I’m dust; I’m less than dust, below the stones
for all I’ve done, for all the pain I’ve brought,
for each and every angry word I’ve thrown,
for each and every hard and careless thought.
Forgive me; I have sinned against the light
of love that burned so brightly through the night.

III. Satisfactio

I have no right to ask to be absolved,
to beg for mercy, bowed before your feet.
I won’t look up until it is resolved;
unworthy eyes should only view the street.
I’ll stay right here forever if the price
of penance is forever here to stay.
These stones for pillows ever will suffice:
a price a thousand times I’ll gladly pay.
Forgive me if I weep from time to time;
it means I’ve glimpsed some past or future grace:
salvation in some mountain I may climb,
a tear that tracks upon my dusty face,
some fragment of a hope I hope to see
in peace, in love, in you, perhaps in me.

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