Poem: Concerned Bystander

It was in the middle school gym
where I saw you with a mark
dark upon your brow and asked
with concern for your safety about it
touching your forehead you showed
it was no wound but an ash smudge
from an ancient ritual

A true story prompt in response to Mish’s quadrille prompt at dVerse. I was coaching middle school basketball and saw a kid with what I thought was a bruise on his forehead… it turned out to be an ash cross from Ash Wednesday. Much better than my original hypothesis.

Copyright © 2021 TJS Sherman All rights reserved.

39 thoughts on “Poem: Concerned Bystander

  1. Oh wow, I’m glad it ended like that. That would be awful if it were a bruise. So that’s pretty neat about the ash cross, I never heard about that before here. Well, ya learn something new everyday lol. : ) Great poem here, I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was real concerned because his dad was there in the gym with us. I pulled him aside and asked about the bruise, and he was like what bruise? I was quite relieved that it was just ash.


  2. Great use of the “smudge” prompt. I live in a highly Catholic area, but, even now, if I am not conscious of the calendar, I might be a little confused, especially as those marks tend to lose their cross shape.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s interesting is my best friend and Co-coach was catholic, and I’d never seen it (or noticed it) for 17 years at that point. I can’t remember if he missed that night or maybe he was at his own services.

      Liked by 1 person

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