Merciful God  
If I must speak, let it not be my words.
They stick to my tongue, to my hands
I trip over unclean lips
And I cannot face my shame.

If I must speak, let it not be my words.
They are brittle and hard, fall short of tears
Refuse to root in this stony soil.  

If I must speak, let it be my sister’s words, my brother’s words
Their blood cries out from holy ground
You called them beloved when I did not.  

If I must speak, let it be Christ’s words
Whose weeping revived the dead
Who was buried a seed
Raised a tree
And whose leaves will heal the nations.

Hannah Malcolm