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Charlotte Elliot

No one wants to come
just as they are
to the Lord. Only children,
who go just as they are to anything –
rumpled hair at the wedding,
shoes on the wrong feet at Grandma’s.
Too young to have learned better,
to carry a disapproving sneer
to their closets and mirrors.

We come to the altar
with bloodied knees and hands,
we come to the Lord praying
“Just as I am”

And maybe, yes, it is possible
to cleanse us fools along with the wise.

Renee Emerson is the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014) and Threshing Floor (Jacar Press, 2016). She received her MFA in poetry from Boston University.

Image: Allen Taylor, Unsplash

Renee Emerson

Renee Emerson is a homeschooling mom of six, and the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014), Threshing Floor (Jacar Press, 2016), and Church Ladies (Fernwood Press, forthcoming 2022). Her poetry has been published in Cumberland River Review, The Windhover, and Poetry South. She adjunct teaches online for Indiana Wesleyan University, and blogs about poetry, grief, and motherhood.