Candidates for Mercy


If you think deeply about it for long enough

It can become quite unsettling.

Who is it for?

Who qualifies for mercy in your books?

Is it still mercy if it is offered to someone innocent?

Someone falsely accused?

That’s justice, no?

So who gets mercy?

Maybe it can be offered to someone guilty

But only a little bit guilty.

Maybe it is only afforded to those who grovel,

The ones who look really sorry?

The ones who deserve it?

Maybe people earn mercy by how well

They disfigure their face.

Time spent on their knees pleading.

Mercy is costly.

And free when really given.

It seems purest when given. Not earned.

It is hard to really give. Or receive.

What great depth of heart it takes

To look in the face of ugliness

And offer beauty.

It is no small thing.

Who is mercy for, if not for the guilty?

Perhaps the hardest thing about mercy

Is that the best candidates for it

Turn out to be the ones who deserve it the least.

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