The day of preparation

The day before, setting the table, 
wiping the counter, 
counting the seats, there is time 
to remember, to mourn those 
who will not grace this feast; 
those whom we see no longer, 
one way or another. 

And this, too, is a blessing,
grief that touches cheeks with salt
and tenderizes hearts,
since it reminds us of love;

and this, too, is a cross,
that we are mortal and die unfinished,
leaving a trail of tears behind;

and for this I will give thanks:
that God has made us of
an intricate weave, and
that night, after the meal,
prayed and shook, wept and sweat,
before he was raised up,
that we might know,
whether we awaken to grief or glory,
he is seated not only at the right hand,
but right beside us.

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