Today is Ash Wednesday. The 40 days of Lent has begun. This is a poem I wrote on Ash Wednesday in 2009

Today I wear the mark of the cross on my forehead,
visible black cross reminder of righteousness aforesaid.
stained mark from last year’s burnt palm leaves,
black on white, opportunity for repentance gives.

Repentance done for repentance needed in words and deeds,
unconfessed sins unconfessed, sin and more sins will breed.
Repentance for grace undeserved, begins the season of Lent,
undeserved, unbidden, unexpected salvation was sent.

Darkness is my heart where selfishness sings evermore,
ego and pride above goodness and holiness soar.
Come, Holy Spirit, come breath of God, to my sorry plight,
Cleanse me, mold me, straighten me, to make me right.