Ash Wednesday

Once in winter,
I stood,
White flakes brushing my face
With white fingers,
I waited with the others
We shivered on the steps--
Stuck out our tongues to catch snowflakes
So cold they would burn.
Soon the big doors would open
On smoke and candles
and a cold thumb would brush
My forehead with a cross of ashes
"Dust to Dust" he would mutter
While snowflakes melted in my hair. 

Ash Wednesday
Ashes to Easter