Terri Martin Wilkins

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The weight of loss infects my sight
No future hues remain.
I am sick to death of death.

Former things pass away
Burning desolate, unremembered,
A parched inferno fed by scorched memories
Turned unexpectedly toxic.

Yearning warped to stunned, implacable grief
Wrenched and wailing,
‘Eternal, eternal, irrevocable loss.’

The air is scalded, withering breath.
Vision, groping at the angles, fails.
Grace unfettered flickers on the margins
Glimpses of insistent mercy at the fringe,
Too shattered to step out
On the turbulent waters of the dance.

Curling, grasping, embedded tendrils inextricable from justice
Inexorably thrusting down down to judgmental spaces
Below the graves.
I am sick to death of death.

In the face of redemption accomplished
Humility may only stand awed. Silent.
And yet…
Wrecked and ruined, yearning flounders frantic, futile
Past the angles,
Gasping ever, always, from the margins,
Will mercy triumph?


When I was younger
Mercy was abundant
Wrong turns led through harsh realities
Then doubled back toward grace
Dawn was sung in praise of second chances
And love was enough.

Now I am old.
I wonder if mercy is sufficient
Nothing changes the past
No matter how bitter the regret.
Wisdom comes less from experience
Than from utter ruin.

I trudge along the path now
Mostly alone,
Fellow seekers gone ahead
Or turned aside to other paths
Or discovered to be frauds.

Struggling to see the vestiges of guideposts
Through weeping for the ones lost along the way.
Forgiven, but haunted.
Choking on grief that pushes
Against the foundation of my assumptions.
Believing by conscious choice.
Intentionally choosing faith.
Trusting by the skin of my teeth.


Insidious joy,
Frissons across my skin
Sighs songs of glory
Into the base of my spine
Deviously disturbs the heartbeat of my sorrow
With dubious delight.

Grief tries to chase it down
Strangle stomp shout it down
Dominating commanding powerful
Punching poking pounding it down.
But it can’t be grasped or controlled.

It bubbles up through the seams
Effervescent, softening angles and edges
Crying faintly as from a distant home,
Mercy outmaneuvers death,
And Grace is sufficient.

Terri Martin Wilkins is a follower of Jesus Christ, often failing but always relying on grace. She writes from her experience, her pain, and her responses to the world around her. She often struggles but continues to work on trusting God in all things.

Photo by Raphael Brasileiro on Pexels.com

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