Poetry: Letters of Redemption

etched in emerald ink upon a page as white as snow in morning
the grim letter arrives with all the fanfare of a new year’s warning

the glue that binds the sins to secrets parts under knife in sweet relief
discharged from burdens that it bore across the sky and land beneath

and from within an envelope left torn and crinkled by its passage
emerges a tri-folded paper that contains your whole life’s baggage

decades’ worth of ash and dirt distilled by pressure into tea
bitter as the tainted words that dwell in once fond memories

so at first, you hesitate, unsure you want to hear the lines
written by the palest scars of a love whose sharp edge you defined

but you are old and you are gray, hard of hearing but not heart
the fires in your youthful soul now quelled by wisdom’s subtle arts

you recognize the follies of a childhood lived in blindness,
have long replaced your callous skin with the smooth veneer of kindness

and knowing you deserve reproach for missteps whose wounds still ache
you unfold the letter true and peruse the notice of your fate

only to find the terms within do not offer spade and casket
but rather an atonement song that requires nothing drastic

all you have to do is pluck your honest pen from half-dried ink
and scrawl in letters faint and jagged the whole of what you truly think

you grasp this offer by the blood, knowing your old ghosts demand
a clearing of the clouded air on which they built their reprimands

slipping paper from your docket, pen from inkwell, thoughts from dust
you craft apologies that span the storied life and death of trust

and from your lips onto the page spills a hope you’ve longed to mention:
that this will be the first of many heartfelt letters of redemption

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