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Don’t load it up, it’s prone to
falling down, branches strong and true,
but even they wilt—

The song of childhood plays in the
ears of the Heaven-seeking; dream your
dreams, reach and achieve.

People, “brothers,” “sisters,” friends
who become better brothers and sisters
than blood bonds yield:

They snub you, cheat you, set you up and knock
you down.  Hurt, hit, hire or call on others
to hurt and hit.

You are on the ground and wonder as you
get stronger finally, “will I ever forgive
this transgression?”

Jesus said forgive your brother not seven
times but seven times seventy, or 490.  A lot of
times, but sometimes:

I wonder have I reached that threshold?
Do some hurts count as more, and so to
forgive them I get more credit?

I place it on the tree, forgiveness a great blessing
that can’t always happen overnight.  I water
that tree with prayer.

The best is still the one Jesus gave us, “Our
Father,” because it has so much forgiveness
in it.  “Forgive us, LORD, our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

And sun on this tree might be our willingness
to listen to love, to truth, to a whispering wind
that visits in the night,

Sometimes coming to us in dreams.

I return to the tree over the years, for sometimes
the hurt of error has lasted this long.  I stay willing
as sure as the sun it shines,

Even behind clouds it shines, I swear it! “Do not
swear,” reminds Jesus, and pray the prayer—water
running into wells made at planting.

Fertilize the spot by talking to other people about
your pain; perhaps they’ll have a story to share
with you that can help.

Forgive us LORD, our trespasses as we forgive
those who trespass against us.  Seven times seventy,
or 490 times.  Don’t count;

St. Ignatius of Loyola reminds us not to count:
“to give and not to count the cost.”  To forgive…
divine, to err “human,”

Alexander Pope poetic over words to Shakespeare
and Frost prophetic, Longfellow the men read
and quoted by men,

As men and women, sisters and brothers, friends
and family who do God’s will try to amend and
work through another day.

Poems smile the pause that made Frost famous,
with him it was a sigh: Something true, firm and
spectacularly fallible reaches

up on the horizon of best intentions:

The forgiveness tree is in full bloom, the flower green
but dewed and so golden as we turn another cheek
in God’s time not ours.

To abuse I shall never bow down, but to forgiveness’
open door I shall never close and lock for I want
Heaven’s gate open as well.

As a child, hoping, believing and as forgiving
as moths trapped in a flame.  Perhaps it was my
fault, and if not:

Stay away next time