after Lucille Clifton

It’s me again. I know
I haven’t been in touch for a long while
but you can’t have forgotten
that child who filed daily into church
with schoolmates, followed by women
in black and white, the click of rosary beads
hanging from their waists
as they marched us row by row
into the pews. And you must remember
the prayers I chanted to your father
in heaven and to your blessed mother
and the fruit of her womb.
Can you have forgotten the indulgences
I stacked up, mountains high
so you would forgive me my sins
and allow me to enter heaven?
I’m calling on those indulgences now
when I need them for these are sorry
times and no one (well, maybe 100,000
or more Gazans) can be sorrier than I
that this world, your kingdom,
has fallen to such a sorry state.
So I’m cashing in those indulgences
from the sweet child I was
and asking for a respite, just
a little peace, oh King of Peace.