Grace is when you get something good
you don’t deserve;
An unexpected kindness,
A blindside forgiveness.
Growing up, this was a lesson I never fully learned.
All the love I ever got,
I thought it had to be earned.
Grace is a way for fate to save face:
When your number comes up,
When you draw an inside straight.
When the roulette ball lands on black.
But you can’t even roll the dice
If you haven’t paid a price
It’s too late now.
I, a middle-aged mediocre man,
Am tired, too tired to play.
I’ve been played
By pale-faced, black-vested croupiers
On every corner, in every town.
I’ve lost all verve
Almost effortlessly on the verge of losing my nerve
They bring my dinner.
The steam rises from the plate.
Rice and beef and sauteed onions.
Everyone bows their heads
While I tabulate how many surgeries
Reaped this desultory abundance.
I can’t help it, it makes everyone irate:
Numbers tell you scores and sums and years.
I’m always counting up the arrears
If only someone would have mercy
Waive all intentions of vengeance
Instruct me in the ways of penance:
No matter how tersely