I strive,
Ever stretching,
Fingers extended
Until the knuckles
Glow white
And the tendons
Ache, and tremor.
My arm draining
Out the last reserves
Of blood flow,
Losing strength,
And height,
Slowly descending
To the ground,
Hopelessly resisting
Until it lands
In perfect alignment with
My face-in-the-dirt body,
Legs long since
Given up now
Pretending to be
An anchor for the
Rest of me.
Neck craning,
Waning, losing
The fight between
Its pitiful stamina and
Gravity’s couldn’t-care-less,
Relentless pull,
Hindered by all
The seemingly
Colossal weight
Of my falling head,
Until with sudden
Jerk it gives,
And unites my face
To the dust from
Which I once came.
I thought I could
Reach, but
I have fallen
So, so short,
And with every
Fibre of me,
And all the willpower
That seemed so
God-like, I find
Myself prostrate
Across my kingdom
Of dirt; the ants
Like disloyal subjects
Marching out of step
And all over me
Hail their king not.
In the harsh
Exposure of my
Adequate inadequacy,
The sun unwilling
To shift its spotlight
Burns the shadow
Of my fallenness
Into the place where
I reached the end
Of me, where I realised
Just how much I had
Fallen short.
And then, by means
And power not mine,
And surely divine,
The respite of a cool
Shadow from a man
Stands over me.
Whoever He is,
Wherever He’s from,
He has the power
And the will
To help me and
Save me from
This desert hell.
He lifts me up,
Dusts me down,
Squares my shoulders,
And eye-to-eye says,
“Let’s go home.”

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23