If you have never been given the word, grace | this is for you.

you might have been given two cups of sorrow
with which to paint your life, and what
have you done wrong?

your mother, your father
whose sin is this?

perhaps you have poured your own portion, you never learn
do you?

i know
i know

holding the cup with both hands
you keep saying
to all the things that others know
how to hide so well

specks and logs, rocks and stones

you know the weight of guilt, the taste of gristle
what failure feels like on your skin


i know
i know

there is no place for you, this is not
your home
you are not allowed to belong within these whitewashed walls

already you know what the desert looks like
no-one can tell you the colour of dust, the feel
of dry bones

did you know that once upon a time
a man
was brought a holy weight
an entire sin
a woman
how time stood still that day, blood
in the mouth
waiting to be spilled

how he knelt down, drew lines in the hot sand

without needing a single, holy
from anyone, quietly
he said,

if there are any stones to be thrown
let them fall from the holiest hands first
the cleanest

is there anyone present
with a name purer than snow, then let them go first
by all means
you have earned it
not even he did

would you believe it?

and someone lived
still does

i know
i know

and love breathed quietly, and grace
grew wild
from all the cracks in the temple walls

perhaps you have always been enough, perhaps
you just didn’t know who to ask

— if you have never been given the word grace | this is for you

© Liezel Graham 2021.

Photograph by Andrik Langfield, on Unsplash.

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