Saturday, March 18, 2017

Baptism

I'm pushing myself to work in a genre that feels a bit uncomfortable.











Baptism

And the Mississippi's mighty
But it starts in Minnesota
At a place that you could walk across
With five steps down.
-The Indigo Girls

You began as a puddle
Pooled after an early summer rain.
The world shimmered in droplets of jewels,
Fresh and green and hopeful.
You were new, perfectly collected,
Reflecting the placid sky, feathers masquerading as clouds, possibility.

Later you were a trickling cold-water spring,
An unexpected discovery, come forth
From limestone and lush ground covering.
The sound of you, both quiet and loud.
I dipped my fingers and toes,
Your chill unshakeable, a spark.

Soon you became a stream,
Peaceful, easy, clear.
Then quickly a river,
Current too strong to resist, rapids rough, flesh scraped against jagged rocks,
But then the curve of the riverbed
And again languid, comfortable, familiar.

Now you are an ocean,
Beautiful and dangerous in what you can reveal to me about myself.
I am buoyed and consumed by your depth.
The submersion promises life and threatens to drown.
I long both to submit and repel.
I am baptized, but not saved.


4 comments:

  1. Ooo this is cool. I've reread it several times. I especially like those last two lines. This makes me think about how our bodies of water "baptize" the land. So many cool images and ideas in here!

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  2. Powerful poem! Wonderful imagery as well.

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  3. I like the flow of it...like the river...it seems to start slow moves more quickly as it goes

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  4. Well said - I love the last stanza and these last times "I long both to submit and repel. I am baptized, but not saved."

    Great images as you flow down the river. The Mississippi is a strong influence in my life so it was fun to read this poem. Thanks for writing it.

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