Now and at the Hour

Again, I see him as I turn
on the stairs this darkening Ash Wednesday.

Exhausted, I won’t last forty more days
rooted in this ashen terrace of fire.

This fate because I do not hop

TREE ROOTS – Vincent van Gogh

Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and falls on the first day of Lent. Many Christians attend special church services, at which churchgoers receive ash on their foreheads. Ash Wednesday derives its name from this practice, which is usually accompanied by the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The ashes are prepared by burning palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations.


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